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Cup final duel: Rabotnichki vs. Metalurg

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2014 Cup final2014 Cup finalAs the Macedonian Cup final takes place on Wednesday, we talked with Milovan Petrovikj of Rabotnichki and Marko Simonovski of Metalurg to get their thoughts on the game.

The XXIII edition of the Macedonian Cup is drawing to a close. On Wednesday, at 20.00 CET, at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje, Rabotnichki and Metalurg will square off (live broadcast on MRT1) to see which team will left the trophy. Rabotnichki is more experienced when it comes to games like this as the Club Hero have appeared in 4 domestic cup finals, winning twice (2008 & 2009) and losing that many as well (2010 & 2012). Metalurg, meanwhile, has appeared in only one title back in 2011 when they defeated Teteks to claim their only Cup title in club history.

Road to the final:

Rabotnichki

Metalurg

Karbinci
W 9:1
Shkupi
W 1:0
Novaci
W 4:0; W 2:1
Vardar
W 1:0; L 2:1
Pelister
L 0:1; W 2:0
Drita
W 3:0; W 7:1
Bregalnica
W 2:0; L 2:0 (5:4 pso)
Teteks
D 0:0; W 1:0




As we make "player duels" before important games, for the Cup final we decided to interview Milovan Petrovikj of Rabotnichki and Marko Simonovski of Metalurg. The 24-year-old Petrovikj plays as both a midfielder and left back, depending on where he is more needed. He has been a regular this season, appearing in all league games. Milovan was part of the team that lost the 2012 Cup final, but didn't play in that game. On the other side, we interviewed 22-year-old striker Marko Simonovski who has scored a total of 14 goals this season (8 in the First League, 6 in the Cup). He also missed his team's last final in 2011 when his teammates beat Teteks.

MF: For both of you this will be your first Cup final. You have amassed good experience so far, but nothing compared to a match like this, so are you nervous?
Milovan: It’s true that this will be my first Cup final. It is a game of tremendous importance so yes, I must admit I feel a bit nervous, but a positive nervousness. That is something very normal. It helps you to concentrate better on the game and boosts your motivation.
Marko:
When Metalurg won the Cup in 2011, I featured in the games leading to the final, but missed the last game due to an injury. Therefore, this will be my fist Cup final and it comes against a big club like Rabotnichki, a team that is striving for two trophies (league title as well). I don’t feel nervous or any pressure for that matter. I will give my best on the field in order for Metalurg to claim the Cup.

MF: Your clubs are rivals not just in the Cup final but also in the First League. Few rounds ago, Metalurg beat Rabotnichki 2:1 as a visitor (at very same stadium where Cup final will be played) with Simonovski scoring the game winner from a penalty kick. What did you learn from that game? What are the weaknesses of your opponent?
Milovan: Metalurg is a quality opponent and we have a lot of respect for them, but in the Cup final we will only focus on our play and our game plan.
Marko: Since Rabotnichki has quality players at each position, I don’t really see any glaring weak areas for them.

MF: The Cup final maybe comes at a bad time since the battle for the First League is very close. Can a possible failure on Wednesday reflect negatively in the championship ending?
Milovan: Now it’s time for the Cup final, so everything else we put aside for later. Our thoughts are only focused on this game, positive thoughts of course. After the final we will get back to the championship.
Marko: We strive for a win in every game, so we don’t think it will be a distraction that will lead to a dip in form.

MF: What do you think of one another?
Milovan: We have to be careful with Simonovski as he is a great striker. We must not allow him to get a chance near our goal.
Marko: As I said before, Rabotnichki has quality players at each position, so for me there's no doubt that Petrovikj is a good player, but we only think about ourselves, not the opponent.

We wish both Milovan and Marko well and may the better team win with the fans given a good show by the two teams!

The main referee for the Cup final will be Dimitar Mechkarovski, while Marjan Kirovski and Goce Petreski will be his assistants. All three hail from Skopje, while the fourth official will be Nikola Karakolev from Shtip. Additional referees will be Aleksandar Stavrev from Skopje and Goran Spirkoski from Prilep. Meanwhile, the match delegate will be Vasko Dojchinovski from Skopje.

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