FC Rostov are celebrating winning their first major trophy, beating FC Krasnodar 6-5 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes of Russian Cup final football at the Anji-Arena in Kaspiysk.
After all ten of the opening penalties were successfully converted, both sides missed their sixth efforts, before Rostov's Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa made the decisive breakthrough, the 35-year-old team captain saving Yuriy Gazinskiy's spot kick. Ivorian defender Igor Lolo then stepped up to convert the winning penalty and propel his side into next season's UEFA Europa League group stage.
"It is difficult to express what we are feeling now," said defender Vitali Dyakov. "Fantastic emotions! We have been battling for a victory like this for many years, and it finally happened. Hopefully, it's not our final trophy. Of course, I felt nervous when I was about to take my penalty, but honestly I felt nervous for the others more than for myself. Thank God, I scored and we won."
"The man of the match is our goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa," noted Rostov forward Artem Dzyuba. "Our coach Miodrag Božović is the best too. He believed in us until the very end." The Montenegrin coach added: "This is the first trophy for the club and the first one for me as a coach. We dedicate this victory to all the people who supported us."
Rostov midfielder Guélor Kanga had hit the post 35 minutes into a cagey encounter, with Wánderson striking the woodwork midway through the second half, Pletikosa gratefully grabbing the loose ball. Miodrag Božović's Rostov might have ended the contest inside regular time after their opponents had Mauricio Pereyra sent off with 19 minutes remaining but Krasnodar held firm, and there was another twist in extra time as Rostov's Bastos was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
However, the shoot-out brought relief for Rostov, who had lost the 2003 Russian Cup final 1-0 to FC Spartak Moskva.
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