Rīga FC took on big-city rivals RFS at Skonto stadium in front of an enthusiastic Wednesday-night crowd.
It was Rīga who took the lead in the 43rd minute via Brazilian star Douglas Aurelio. After a mazy run into the box down the left, he seemed to have gone too far but somehow manufactured a powerful shot from an extremely tight angle that found the net – a goal which the RFS goalkeeper will want to forget.
RFS gradually increased the pressure in their search for a goal during the second half, with Riga hoping to strike on the break. But the solitary goal seemed to be enough to claim the cup until, with only seconds left, VAR intervened. A handball in the Riga penalty box had been spotted and consequently a penalty was awarded. Jānis Ikaunieks stepped up and nervelessly hammered home the last-ditch equalizer.
That meant extra time, but with both sides looking increasingly tired, extra time passed without more goals. The standard of penalty-taking in the final, decisive chapter of the enounter was high from both sides, but it was Riga's big goalkeeper Rihards Matrevics who became the hero of the hour when he saved brilliantly from Petrs Mareš' spot kick. That left Anthony Contreras with a penalty to win the cup – and he duly delivered.
The win means Riga joins RFS in having two cup wins. Now the two teams continue to do battle in the final weeks of the league, where they are the only two sides in contention for the championship title.