FK Jelgava have won the Latvian Cup for the second time in four seasons after holding their nerve to beat Skonto FC 5-3 on penalties.
In the first decider to be staged in Jelgava, both sides – equally combative in style – produced an opening half of fine margins. The pendulum swung in favour of the hosts after they were awarded a spot kick early in the second half, but Romans Bespalovs was thwarted by Skonto keeper Andrejs Pavlovs. The visitors wrested back the initiative in extra time, with Ruslan Mingazov and Viktors Morozs both going close before the final whistle.
A breakthrough was not forthcoming, though, leaving Boriss Bogdaškins to convert the decisive penalty after Skonto midfielder Ofosu Appiah had fired over. "We felt the whole city behind us and we were eager not to let the fans down," explained Jelgava coach Vladimirs Beškarevs. "We showed unbelievable commitment and fought until the end. It is such a great feeling to look into our fans' eyes and enjoy this moment with them."
Jelgava's leading protagonist Artis Lazdiņš added: "It is not every day that you score such an historic penalty," the midfielder enthused. "It is difficult to put into words. We are dead on our feet but happiness overrides any feelings of exhaustion."
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