After losing twice in the final, Shkendija managed to lift the trophy in their third attempt after beating Rabotnichki 3:0 on Monday night.
Shkendija was the favourites to win the Cup right after they eliminated Vardar in the quarter-finals. Rabotnichki, the actual holders for two years in a row, fielded a much different team from the one that had a great Europa League run last summer since many of the key players made transfers. German international Stephan Vujčić even faced Rabotnichki in this Cup final as he joined Shkendija during the winter transfer window.
The Tetovo based club took the lead after only 7 minutes of play when U21 national team player Marjan Radeski seize an occasion to put the ball past his U21 colleague Damjan Shishkovski. Shkendija then controlled the game, yet Rabotnichki managed to create several chances and even hit the crossbar once, but the Club Hero failed to equalize. In the 5th minute of the injury time Cuculi was running in a counter attack and sent a great ball for Stênio Júnior who cemented the win.
The final was awarded to Goran Spirkoski, one of the best Macedonian referees, as he retires after this season.
It was Ferhan Hasani to lift the trophy, although Ardian Cuculi started the game as captain. Hasani came in near the end of the game and took the captain armband from Cuculi as Hasani is the first choice captain. He had a 6 months break due to injury and only came back recently.
This is the first Cup trophy for Shkendija as the red&black team lost the previous two finals. In 2006 they lost 3:2 by Makedonija Gjorche Petrov, while in 2013 their city rivals Teteks were better in the penalty shot-outs after the game ended 1:1.
Rabotnichki played its 7th final, but stays on 4 trophies. If they managed to win this time, they would have tied Vardar on trophies with 5 each.
An incident happened before the kick-off when the Shkendija fans booed the Macedonian anthem during the opening ceremony. Also, the game had 8 minutes of injury time due to the interruption in the second half when the same fans threw fireworks on the field.
To view the match report, click here.