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Celtic 1-2 Heart of Midlothian

Sunday, 15 April 2012


William Hill Scottish Cup Semi-Final

Celtic 1-2 Heart of Midlothian

Sunday 15 April 2012, kick-off 12.45

Hampden Park, Glasgow

 

Skacel '46, Beattie (pen) '90+1; Hooper '87

 

 

Hearts booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup final against capital rivals Hibernian for the first time since 1896 with a 2-1 win over Celtic.

 

Craig Beattie, a former Celtic striker, calmly slotted an injury-time penalty to set up his team's biggest game in modern history.


Rudi Skacel had put Hearts ahead in the early stages of the second half, but Gary Hooper set up an exciting finale with what appeared a last-gasp equaliser.


With the stakes so high - a prospective double or final against city rivals - both teams set a frantic pace.


Hearts almost made the best possible start. Within the first few seconds Celtic stopper Kelvin Wilson was caught napping on the ball and was closed down by Ian Black, who had his shot from six yards blocked by the legs of Fraser Forster.


Black had another opportunity when he met an Andrew Driver pass, but shot wide, and a Charlie Mulgrew error allowed the midfielder again to bear down on goal.


But SPL champions Celtic began to assert themselves. Gary Hooper narrowly failed to connect with a Kris Commons cross, and headed wide from a Mulgrew ball within the space of a few minutes.


Georgios Samaras produced a quality short pass for Mikael Lustig who dinked in for Ki but his header hit the post.


The game needed a goal and Skacel duly obliged straight after the break.  The Hearts striker rounded Forster and blasted into the roof of net after getting on the end of a through ball from Beattie.


Again, the Czech was in the thick of it, as he shot wide. The Hearts faithful seemed to visibly inspire him.


Hearts were hitting Celtic, in need of an equaliser, on the break. Beattie’s low strike the most productive outcome of the strategy.


It took some time for Celtic to respond but Stokes, his team’s top scorer in the competition, produced space for a shot, deflected wide.


The Irishman was Celtic’s greatest threat, again angling on to to his right for a shot to be saved low by Jamie MacDonald.


Hearts could have killed the game when a Stephen Elliot chip tested Forster’s concentration but he saved comfortably.


Commons had the crowd on their feet when a one v one presented itself, but he couldn’t quite make it before MacDonald could smother.


With ten minutes to go, Ki, again, hit the post with a header from three yards.


Commons then had a free kick tipped over by MacDonald.

Celtic piled on the pressure, an incredible MacDonald one-handed save from Mulgrew the only thing preventing an equaliser.


But with the clock ticking down, Celtic deservedly scored with a Hooper header from a Mulgrew cross.
 

With the match heading for extra-time, it was Hearts who booked their place in the final in dramatic circumstances.


Joe Ledley was adjudged to have handled in the box and Beattie calmly stepped up to blast the resultant penalty past Forster.
 

Celtic:

Forster (GK), Wilson, Brown (Cpt) (McGeouch, 82), Samaras (Stokes, 60), Commons, Ledley, Ki, Mulgrew, Loovens, Lustig (Wanyama, 74), Hooper.
Unused subs: Zaluska (GK), Izaguirre

Heart of Midlothian:

MacDonald (GK), Grainger, Barr, Webster, Black (Santana, 65), Elliott (Prychynenko, 79), Driver, McGowan, Skacel, Zaliukas (Cpt), Robinson (Beattie, 46)
Unused subs: Ridgers (GK), Templeton

 

Att: 36,609

 

Referee: Euan Norris

 


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