FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk are celebrating their first Belarus Cup triumph after defeating FC BATE Borisov 2-1 in a closely-contested final on Sunday.
The capital club were forced to come from behind after Aleksandr Lebedev broke the deadlock with a header just before the half-hour. Denis Fedorov soon levelled, and although BATE created a host of chances after the interval, it was MTZ-RIPO who earned a maiden cup success thanks to Artem Kontsevoi's 73rd-minute goal.
The victory had added spice for MTZ-RIPO coach Yuri Puntus, against the club he led for nine years. His former employers had looked set to haunt him when Lebedev struck on 28 minutes, but MTZ-RIPO restored parity as defender Aleksandr Stashchenyuk's shot came back off the upright and Fedorov pounced to slot home.
BATE were soon back in the ascendancy though, and Dmitri Klimovich hit the post before Pavel Begansky and Aleksandr Vishnyakov were denied by the superb Aleksandr Sulima. Kontsevoi made them pay for their profligacy, heading in his 12th cup goal in eleven appearances as MTZ-RIPO claimed silverware and a UEFA Cup berth.
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