Beroe go for fifth time lucky in cup final

SOFIA, May 4 (Reuters) - Beroe Stara Zagora go for their first Bulgarian Cup final triumph on Wednesday with a long-running canker to remove having lost all four of their previous appearances in the showpiece.

The competition's bridesmaids, runners-up four times between 1968 and 1980, take on second division Chernomorets Pomorie in Lovech.

Victory would earn them their first European appearance since the 1986-'87 season when they qualified for the then European Cup as Bulgarian champions. They lost in the first round to Dynamo Kiev.

"We've been waiting for this match for a long time," Beroe coach Ilian Iliev told Reuters. "But we know it won't be easy to beat Chernomorets because they have a young but also a very talented squad.

"I told the players that if you go to the final and fail to win it, it's like you never had played in it," added Iliev, who took part in four cup finals during his playing days.

Iliev, 41, won two Bulgarian Cups with Levski Sofia, one Portuguese Cup with Benfica and has ended up on the losing side with Maritimo in another final in Portugal.

Chernomorets, based in Pomorie - a town with population of fewer than 15,000 - however, have motivation aplenty themselves as they aim to become the first second division side to win the Cup.

"We know it's a great chance for us," Chernomorets midfielder Georgi Chakarov told Reuters. "If God is on our side, who knows, we could win the Cup."