FK Rabotnicki lifted the Macedonian Cup for a second season running after seeing off ten-man FK Teteks 2-1 at the National Arena Filip II Macedonian.
Having surrendered their league title to Skopje rivals FK Vardar on Saturday, Rabotnicki found consolation in their fourth cup success after beating the bottom-of-the-table First League side.
The final was a rematch of the decider five years ago when Teteks upset the odds by beating the capital side 3-2 to earn their first major silverware. It was a different story this time around as Rabotnicki recovered from a goal down in the last 20 minutes to seal their comeback success.
The holders almost broke the deadlock through Marjan Altiparmakovsk's 24th-minute effort, but Teteks goalkeeper Vance Mancevski brilliantly saved his curling shot from distance.
Ten minutes later, Teteks replied through Dragan Nacevski but his header from close range went just over the bar. The Tetovo-based side, who had long been assured of finishing bottom in the league this season, took a shock lead just before half-time via Dejan Curlinov's precise strike from the edge of the box.
Following the interval, Rabotnicki took complete control of the game. Baze Ilijoski restored parity with a back-heeled finish. Things then swiftly went from bad to worse for Teteks. Filip Najdovski was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 72nd minute then just two minutes later, Altiparmakovski – Rabotnicki's top scorer this season with 13 league goals – converted from close range.
"We succeeded in defending the title and I am delighted to have done so," said Rabitnicki attacker Baze Ilijoski. "Even though we were behind at half-time we were convinced that we could turn things around [after the restart]. We produced a great second-half performance, and we deservedly won this final."
Victorious coach Igor Angelovski added: "It is always much more difficult to defend a title than to win it. As we had predicted, Teteks proved to be a hard opponents, but I think that in the end our quality prevailed."
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