Ramūnas Radavičius was the hero for FK Sūduva as his strike wrapped up the Lithuanian Cup final, earning his team a 1-0 victory over FK Tauras and opening the door to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
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Ramūnas Radavičius was the hero for FK Sūduva as his strike wrapped up the Lithuanian Cup final, earning his team a 1-0 victory over FK Tauras in Kaunas and opening the door to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
Nerves seemed to get the better of both teams in the opening period as passes went astray and goalscoring chances proved a rarity, and it was Radavičius who sparked the first real danger midway through the half. Back from suspension, he whipped in a testing cross that none of his colleagues were able to profit from, and they were nearly made to pay for that failure when a pair of long-range efforts from Tauras midfielder Iulian Bursuc forced goalkeeper Saulius Klevinskas into action.
The second half began with Sūduva on the attack and Radavičius their most influential player, the 28-year-old eventually opening the scoring on 62 minutes with an under-hit shot that Ernestas Šetkus was unable to keep out. Tauras chased an equaliser after that, but their opponents defended stoutly and nearly grabbed a second through their goalscoring midfielder. As it was, his strike proved enough to bring Sūduva their second cup triumph, three years after they defeated FK Ekranas.
Sūduva coach Gediminas Jarmaliavičius said: "In January, when we started to prepare for the season, our goal was to win the cup. We really wanted to play in Europe next season. We deserved to win today. In such matches one mistake can make all the difference and that was the case today. At half-time we decided to move Radavičius from the left flank to the right and that was the key."