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FK Jelgava are looking forward to UEFA Europa League football next term after the spot-kick specialists yet again prevailed after a penalty shoot-out to beat FK Jūrmala in the Latvian Cup final.
Jelgava kept their cool to win shoot-outs in the quarter and semi-finals, and the spot-kick gods were once more shining on them in Riga. Trailing 2-1 with five minutes of regulation time remaining Valērijs Redjko's penalty took the game to extra time and, after 30 scoreless minutes, it went to a shoot-out. Then sudden-death, where Marks Bogdanovs denied Gatis Kalniņš to earn a 6-5 win.
"I'm not the hero, everyone in the squad is a hero," said Bogdanovs, who atoned for an earlier error which had allowed Kalniņš to make it 2-1 when Jelgava were on top. Dainis Kazakevičs' men had already been forced to come from behind after Dmitrijs Paplavskis surprised everyone with a scissor-kick on 14 minutes. Igors Lapkovskis equalised just before the hour.
"The team deserved this success after their commitment," said Kazakevičs, whose side's fourth Latvian Cup – their first since 1996 – was won in front of a bumper crowd of 4,000. "I thank everyone at the stadium for their support; we felt it today. I think we have a bright future ahead of us."
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