Amirkhanov spot kick secures Skonto cup win

Skonto FC won the Latvian Cup for the eighth time after Roman Amirkhanov scored the decisive spot kick to defeat SK Liepājas Metalurgs on penalties in the final.

Skonto's players celebrate their Latvian Cup triumph
Skonto's players celebrate their Latvian Cup triumph ©Girts Gersons

Roman Amirkhanov kept his nerve to fire ten-man Skonto FC to Latvian Cup final victory, scoring the decisive penalty in the shoot-out to defeat SK Liepājas Metalurgs.

After the game ended 1-1 after extra time Metalurgs' Ritus Krjauklis shot over from the spot and Andrejs Prohorenkovs's attempt was saved by Skonto's Germans Māliņš, allowing Russian defender Amirkhanov to end the capital club's ten-year wait to lift the trophy.

Skonto coach Marian Pahars praised his charges after clinching the cup. "I have to thank the players for this victory," said the former Latvian international. "It was a very hard match, but the boys fought courageously. The penalty shoot-out is always a lottery, but luck was on our side. I haven't won the Latvian Cup for a long time, so I'm really happy we did it."

The final was played for the first time in Liepāja but it was Skonto who silenced the partisan locals at the start of the second half as Ruslan Mingazov's cross was converted by Valērijs Šabala, but defender Adil Ibragimov was dismissed for Pahars's side and Metlaurgs took advantage, levelling through a Vladimirs Kamešs header on 74 minutes. The sides could not be separated in extra time and fate decreed Amirkhanov won it for Skonto from the penalty spot.