In a highly anticipated clash between local rivals, FK Velež Mostar and Zrinjski, the final of the Bosnian Cup, known as the BiH Kup, ended with a disappointing 1-0 defeat for Velež. The match, held at a packed stadium, saw the Solomon Islands football star, Raphael Lea’i, remaining on the bench as an unused substitute.
The decisive goal came in the 51st minute of play, courtesy of Zrinjski’s Mario Ćuže. His strike proved to be the winner, securing the Bosnian Cup title for Zrinjski and completing the double for them, as they had recently clinched the national league trophy.
For Velež, losing the cup final to their biggest rivals was undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow. The defending champions were unable to retain their title, adding to the disappointment. However, amidst the disappointment, Velež can take pride in their journey to the final and the progress they have made throughout the season.
The season is not yet over for Velež, as they still have two more matches to play in the national league. These matches present them with an opportunity to qualify for the UEFA Conference League. It is expected that the 19-year-old Raphael Lea’i, with his talent and potential, may feature in these upcoming crucial matches.
Lea’i, hailing from the Solomon Islands, has been a rising star in the football world. His presence in the team provides Velež with an added dimension of skill and creativity. While he may not have been called upon in the cup final, there is hope that he will play a vital role in Velež’s pursuit of a European qualification spot.
The disappointment of losing the BiH Kup final will undoubtedly serve as motivation for Velež in their remaining matches. They will be determined to bounce back and end the season on a high note. With Raphael Lea’i potentially making an impact on the field, Velež will aim to secure their place in the UEFA Conference League, providing a valuable opportunity for the young Solomon Islands star to showcase his abilities on European stage.