HJK Helsinki put a down payment on a domestic double with a 2-1 win against KuPS Kuopio in the Finnish Cup final, though it took extra time to separate the sides in the chilly Finnish capital.
The reigning Veikkausliiga champions dominated the game, and twice hit the crossbar in normal time, but they could not make the breakthrough until extra time, with Jari Litmanen crashing in a tremendous strike from 25 metres after 108 minutes. Rising midfield star Alexander Ring, who at 20 is half Litmanen's age, combined well with Berat Sadik to make it 2-0, though KuPS defender Markus Joenmäki pulled one back at the death.
HJK's 11th Finnish Cup success means they are only one behind record breakers FC Haka in the all-time rankings, and they are unlikely to be denied a 24th league title this season; they are 16 points clear at the top of the table with seven games to play.
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