SP Tre Penne won the San Marinese title for the first time in their history after defeating SP Libertas 1-0 in the final of the play-offs at the Stadio Olimpico in Serravalle.
The game was decided 11 minutes from time when Matteo Valli controlled a loose ball in the box and beat Libertas goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini with a precise left-footed shot. That was enough to give Tre Penne their first triumph after two consecutive defeats at the final hurdle. "I was lucky to receive the ball in the box, it's the most important goal in my career," said the 25-year-old Valli.
The first half was played at a high tempo by both sides but it was Libertas who went closest when Nicola Polidori unleashed a powerful right-footed shot which went narrowly wide. Tre Penne goalkeeper Fabio Macaluso was then forced into a fine diving save to keep out a dangerous free-kick.
After the break Macaluso was tested twice by Marco De Luigi but Tre Penne slowly started to take control of the game in midfield by the halfway point of the second half. Simoncini did well to rush out and thwart Nicola Chiaruzzi after a good solo run but was helpless to deny Valli soon after.
"We finally managed to win at the third attempt," said Tre Penne coach Stefano Ceci, whose side will play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. "It was tough but I think we deserved the win, I'm really happy. I think we are a bit more experienced compared to our previous finals and it made the difference tonight."
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