Girish Mahajan

2016 Albanian Cup Final

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Referee  Marco Guida
Date  22 May 2016
Man of the match  Jean Carioca
Champion  FK Kukësi
Venue  Qemal Stafa Stadium
Event  2015–16 Albanian Cup
2016 Albanian Cup Final httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Location  Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania

The 2016 Albanian Cup Final was a football match played on 22 May 2016 to decide the winner of the 2015–16 Albanian Cup, the 54th edition of Albania's primary football cup. It was played at the Qemal Stafa Stadium in Tiranë.

Contents

It was won by the first time by Kukësi 5–3 on penalties after the regular and extra time finished in a 1–1. Kukësi thus won its first Albanian Cup title, missing the opportunity last season where it was defeated by Laçi itself. It was the third consecutive cup final for Kukësi while Laçi had the opportunity to win the title for the third time in the last four editions. For the first time in the history of Albanian football, a cup final match was judged by foreign refeeres.

As Kukësi won both the Albanian Cup and Skënderbeu Korçë won the 2015–16 Albanian Superliga, the 2016 Albanian Supercup will be between Skënderbeu Korçë and Kukësi.

Background

Laçi had previously played in 2 Albanian Cup finals, winning both respectively against Bylis Ballsh in 2013 and Kukësi in 2015. They were the reigning champions, having defeated Kukësi 2–1 in the previous year's final at their Qemal Stafa Stadium.

Kukësi had been to two, losing both, respectively in 2014 to Flamurtari Vlorë and in 2015 to Laçi. The 2016 final was the second between the two sides.

It will be the 5th consecutive final at the Qemal Stafa Stadium in Tiranë, home of Partizani Tirana.

Laçi

Laçi, of Albanian Superliga, entered the tournament in the first round, against Besa Kavajë of Albanian First Division. The first leg in Besa Stadium, on 16 September 2015, ended in a 3–1 convincing win for Laçi, with manager Armando Cungu who used his best eleven to secure the qualify fast. In the returning leg two week later, Laçi drew 1–1 by using players which were not used too much in the league. Dardan Vuthaj scored the only goal of his team in the 82nd minute.

In the second round, Laçi played their fellow relegation league strugglers Bylis Ballsh. They played the first leg on 21 October which ended in a goalless draw. In the returning leg, however, Laçi won 3–2 thanks to a James Adeniyi hat-trick; Stipe Buljan also scored an owngoal in the first half.

Laçi met Partizani Tirana in the quarter-finals, a repeat of the last year's quarter-final. On 23 January at Laçi Stadium, they won 2–0 with second-half strikes of James Adeniyi. In the returning leg on 17 February, the "Red Bulls" won 1–0 at home thanks to the goal of Xhevahir Sukaj, but Laçi managed to progress into the semi-final for the second consecutive season.

In the semi-finals, Laçi met Skënderbeu Korçë, and won 1–0 in the home leg on 6 April; Marko Ćetković scored the lone goal in the second half. In the returning leg two weeks later, Skënderbeu won 2–1 but thanks to Ćetković's tempolary equalizer goal, Laçi where able to secure a spot in the final thanks to the away goal rule.

Kukësi

Kukësi, also in Albanian Superliga, entered at the same stage against a third-tier opponent, Naftëtari Kuçovë. In the first leg in Bashkim Sulejmani Stadium on 16 September 2015, they suffered a shock defeat 3–1 as the owngoal of Gucaj was bounced by the strikes of Kopaçi and Behari; in the returning leg two weeks later at the Zeqir Ymeri Stadium, Kukësi overturned the first-leg results and won 4–1 after extra time; Fjoart Jonuzi scored two decisive goals, including one in the 118th minute of the match.

In the second round, Kukësi met another low-league side, Iliria Fushë-Krujë. In the first leg away on 21 October, Kukësi secured a spot to the quarter-final by scoring five times in the Iliria Fushë-Krujë net. In the returning leg of Albanian Cup second round, the team overwhelmed 3–0 Iliria Fushë-Krujë at home, securing a 8–1 aggregate victory and progression to the quarter-finals. Two goals from Mateus Lima and one strike from Bledar Musolli secured the victory.

In the quarter-finals, Kukësi faced Teuta Durrës. On 23 January, Kukësi was defeated 1–0 at away leg; Ardit Hila scored the lone goal in the 20th minute. In the returning leg at home, Kukësi won 2–0 thanks to the goals from Ylli Shameti and Renato Malota, the centre-backs of the team.

Kukësi were tasked with out of form Flamurtari Vlorë in the semi-finals. In the first leg away on 6 April, Edon Hasani scored an early goal in the 11th minute which was followed by Shameti's header nine minutes later, which almost had qualified Kukësi in the final. On 20 April, in the returning leg of Albanian Cup, Kukësi recorded another 2–0 win against Flamurtari, securing a 4–0 aggregate victory and progression in the final for the second consecutive season.

Pre-match

Before the final, both teams required forgein referees for the match. That was more specifically the request of Kukësi rather than Laçi.

References

2016 Albanian Cup Final Wikipedia


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