Standard Liège have lifted the Belgian Cup for the seventh time in their history after a dramatic 2-1 victory against Club Brugge in the final at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.
Les Rouches, who missed out on the Belgian championship play-offs, started as underdogs against the league leaders and cup holders but struck first via Jean-Luc Dompe after the midfielder was sent clear by Ivan Santini's through ball. However, ten minutes later, the favourites restored parity when Lior Refaelov sent a free-kick into the top corner past Standard goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.
The Israel playmaker also made a telling contribution in the decider last term, hitting the winner in added time as the Blauw-Zwart claimed their first silverware since 2007. Nevertheless, Club Brugge's hopes of a second consecutive cup triumph faded when Abdoulay Diaby was sent off after the interval, and Santini settled the encounter with a late clincher two minutes from time.
The win handed Standard their first cup success since 2011, as well as earning them a UEFA Europa League qualifying berth next term. "We now experience a super-beautiful moment," said Standard coach Yannick Ferrera, who became the youngest tactician to lift the trophy at 35 years and 178 days. "Now we'll be in Europe next season, which is well deserved after a difficult season."
— Standard de Liège (@Standard_RSCL) March 20, 2016
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