Zulte Waregem beat Excelsior to lift Belgian Cup

May 14, 2006
By Darren Ennis

BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) - A last-gasp goal from Tim Matthys earned Zulte Waregem a 2-1 win over Excelsior Mouscron in the Belgian Cup final on Saturday.

Matthys's curling shot in injury time handed Waregem the cup for only the second time in their history and saw them qualify for the first round of the UEFA Cup.

Ironically, Waregem may have to play their European home games at nearby Mouscron as their own ground may not meet UEFA standards.

Waregem, who last won the cup in 1974, took the lead after 11 minutes, Matthys the provider this time for Stefan Leleu.

Mouscron, who lost their only other final appearance in 2002, equalised through Adnan Custovic in the 62nd minute.

Waregem's cup victory capped a remarkable year. Promoted from the Belgian second division last term, they finished sixth in the top flight this season.

'This is for the fans and caps off an incredible season,' Waregem coach Francky Dury said.

'It wasn't the best we have played, but that doesn't matter, it's all about the result.'

In fact technically it was the club's first cup victory. In 2001, due to financial problems, Waregem had to merge with Zultse V.V. and club was renamed S.V. Zulte-Waregem.

Mouscron finished a rollercoaster season in 14th spot in the Belgian first division, but are still awaiting the final outcome of an appeal after being denied a professional licence over financial irregularities.

If unsuccessful, they will be relegated to the third division. Seperately, the club has also found itself caught up in an ongoing investigation in to matchfixing in the country. Mouscron is one of five clubs under police investigation.