FC Vaduz held their nerve to avoid an upset in the Liechtenstein Cup final, defeating FC Balzers on penalties to lift the trophy for a 41st time.
Currently occupying a mid-table position in the Swiss second tier, Vaduz were firm favourites against a side battling relegation two divisions below them. Things appeared to be going to plan when Guilherme Afonso put Vaduz ahead with a curling effort 22 minutes in, but Yusuf Aker's equaliser nine minutes later gave Mario Frick's team the sniff of an upset.
After their run of 14 straight titles in this competition was ended last season, by USV Eschen/Mauren in a shoot-out, memories began to resurface for Vaduz, and neither side could force a result before 120 minutes had elapsed.
Unlike last term, however, it was the underdogs who lost their nerve when it counted, as Ivan Quitan and Robin Gubser saw efforts saved by Oliver Klaus while Thomas Beck sent his spot kick into the sky. In contrast, Amin Tighazoui, Nico Abegglen and Mario Sara hit the back of the net, much to the relief of Vaduz coach Giorgio Contini. "It was a tough job," he said. "For a long time we did not play well, and Balzers were strong. I am even more happy that it worked out in the end."
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