RoPS lift Finnish Cup for second time

"All credit to the players," said RoPS Rovaniemi coach Kari Virtanen after his side beat ten-man KuPS Kuopio 2-1 in Helsinki to claim the Finnish Cup for the second time in their history.

RoPS edged the final in Helsinki
RoPS edged the final in Helsinki ©Jussi Eskola

RoPS Rovaniemi have won the Finnish Cup for the second time in their history after defeating KuPS Kuopio 2-1 in Helsinki.

Hoping to add to their maiden cup success in 1986, RoPS were given a major boost when KuPS lost forward MacPherlin Dudu to a red card early in the second half. The side from Rovaniemi took advantage with 15 minutes remaining as Aleksandr Kokko converted from the spot following a handball. Kokko doubled his tally almost immediately afterwards, finding the net from 20 metres, and Jerry Voutilainen's headed effort in added time proved a mere consolation for KuPS.

"All credit to the players," commented RoPS coach Kari Virtanen. "They did the job. Altogether this is a good achievement for us. We are safe in the league and have won the cup, even though many suggested that we might get relegated."

The victory means that RoPS will enter UEFA Europa League qualifying next season, although Virtanen will not be in charge to lead them. He announced earlier in the season that he would be stepping down this term, and current FC Lahti coach Juha Malinen is due to take over.