"We've had a tough season both on and off the pitch but this success makes up for it," said Mika Lehkosuo after his FC Honka Espoo side beat KuPS Kuopio to win their first Finnish Cup.
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A solitary goal from Antti Mäkijärvi helped FC Honka Espoo complete their first ever Finnish Cup victory at the expense of KuPS Kuopio, who ended the Helsinki final with nine men.
Having finished runners-up on three previous occasions, Honka were desperate to make amends and victory loomed into view when Mäkijärvi steered them in front after 23 minutes. Their task became simpler when KuPS lost centre-back Etchu Tabe to a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time, before being reduced to nine when Sander Puri received a straight red card with 20 minutes remaining.
Undeterred, KuPS made light of their numerical disadvantage but failed to conjure the equaliser their possession merited. "We have had a tough season both on and off the pitch and this success makes up for it," said triumphant coach Mika Lehkosuo, whose side will enter next season's UEFA Europa League. "The players and all the staff are absolutely delighted. We are most certainly going to avoid relegation and we will be playing in Europe next year."