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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Djorkaeff's Brilliance Gives PSG Cup Title

BRUSSELS -- Capping a steady, five-year rise to the top, Paris Saint Germain won the European Cup Winners Cup final with a brilliant display of French flair to beat underdog Rapid Vienna 1-0.


French international Youri Djorkaeff masterminded PSG's finest hour with pinpoint precision passing and sweet moves that had the Austrians dumbfounded for most of Wednesday's match.


PSG was least perfect in front of the goal, allowing Rapid to avoid a whitewash.


When the inevitable breakthrough came, few people expected it. In the 29th minute, Bruno N'Gotty was fed a freekick assist from Djorkaeff and the defender unleashed a scorching 35-meter drive that finished in the righthand corner beyond the reach of goalie Michael Konsel.


"I never scored on a freekick like that. I predicted it. I knew I was going to score and I did, so imagine my happiness," N'Gotty said.


Konsel blamed a slight deflection for his seemingly halfhearted dive.


PSG never looked back until it finally had its hands on its first European silverware.


"We played the match we had to play and we got better as the game went on," said PSG coach Luis Fernandez, who will step down after the season.


"Our win was impeccable," said PSG President Michel Denisot, who acquired the team in 1991 at the start of its remarkable rise to prominence.


Despite a disastrous run that quashed its French league title hopes over the past month, the Cup confirmed PSG as one of the best teams of the 1990s, reaching the semifinals of a UEFA competition in the last four years.


For Rapid, which had built its cup challenge on grit and determination, the final was clearly one step too far.


"They deserved the victory. PSG was the better team," said Rapid coach Ernst Dokupil.


Vienna came closest in the final minute when Bulgarian defender Trifon Ivanov threw caution to the wind, ran upfield and scrambled in a last-minute header that forced a great save from French international goalie Bernard Lama.


Too little, too late.


PSG imposed its rhythm from the start, an impressive feat since Brazilian star Rai was hobbling on his left ankle after a few minutes and had to be replaced as soon as the 14th minute. But the change passed seamlessly and Djorkaeff became the maestro of a team littered with individual stars.


When his strikers failed to connect, Djorkaeff swept through the defense himself in the 20th minute and a dipping tight-angle volley required a sterling reflex save from Konsel to push the ball over. In the second half, he hit the post.


Paris need not have worried.


The first goal was enough and came just as Vienna appeared to have steadied its defensive ship.


It left the Vienna defense flatfooted, and Rapid was lucky to escape without more damage when an unchallenged header from Daniel Bravo went wide and a desperation block from Michael Hatz on Panama's Julio Cesar Dely-Valdez deflected a simple tap-in over the bar.


Vienna's offense remained mute until the 44th minute, when Peter Stoeger sent a limp shot Lama's way. On the stroke of halftime, a shot with more guts from Stephan Marasek was deflected over the bar.


Dokupil made a drastic change at halftime, breaking up the partnership of Carsten Juncker and Christian Stumpf that brought the underdog to the final, by replacing Stumpf with Zoran Barisic.


But nothing could stop Djorkaeff spreading his magic.