William Hill Scottish Cup Final 2019/20
Celtic 3-3 Heart of Midlothian (AET - Celtic win 4-3 on penalties)
Sunday, 20 December 2020, kick-off 2.15pm
Celtic: Ryan Christie ('19), Odsonne Edouard ('29 pen), Leigh Griffiths ('105+1)
Heart of Midlothian: Liam Boyce ('48) Stephen Kingsley ('67), Josh Ginnelly ('111)
William Hill Scottish Cup holders Celtic secured a fourth consecutive final victory with a penalty shoot-out victory over Heart of Midlothian.
First half goals from Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard got Celtic off to a flying start, but they were met by a rejuvenated Hearts side in the second half who roared back in to the game to take proceedings to penalties for the first time since 2006.
A poachers goal from substitute Leigh Griffiths put Celtic back in front on the stroke of half-time in extra-time, but Josh Ginnelly's brave equaliser took the fixture all the way.
Conor Hazard's heroics in goal and Kristoffer Ajer's cup winning penalty delivered a 12th domestic trophy in four seasons for the Glasgow side.
In a festive first, the showpiece event at Hampden Park played out in front of an empty stadium after a long, COVID hit delay.
Repeat fixture, refreshed teams
Despite the fact this fixture was a repeat of last season, only six players on the pitch were starting consecutive Scottish Cup finals.
Kristoffer Ajer, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard were the only names in both starting elevens for Celtic, with Michael Smith and Christophe Berra the only two for Hearts.
Both sides took turns at testing their opponents in the opening five minutes, with Hearts forcing Hazard in to an early smart save from a delicate header in the box.
Down the other end, Greg Taylor had an opportunity to strike at goal from the edge of the box but his effort soared in to the empty stands in Glasgow's Southside.
Celtic started to find their rhythm and the effortless quality of David Turnbull produced a near-breakthrough for the Glasgow outfit. A clever juggle with the ball near the touchline and a lobbed ball in to the box was nearly stabbed home by Christopher Jullien at the back post after a slight touch off the head of Shane Duffy.
A moment of magic
In the 19th minute, Celtic took the lead and it was a goal fit for a final.
There was a slight bit of fortune for the Hoops when the ball ricocheted kindly in to the path of Ryan Christie outside the box, but there was no fortune needed for what followed.
Opening the ball up on to his favoured left foot, Christie curled a sumptuous effort perfectly in to the opposite top corner, leaving his Scotland teammate Craig Gordon helpless in the Jambos goal.
An opportunity taken
Less than ten minutes after taking the lead, Neil Lennon's side had the opportunity to double their advantage after referee John Beaton immediately pointed to the spot following a handball from Berra inside his box.
Up stepped 2019 Celtic hero Edouard, who seized the chance to make it two in sublime fashion - sending a panenka effort from the spot past the diving Gordon.
The two sides went in to the break with two goals separating them and with Celtic in control of proceedings at Hampden.
Dream second half start for Hearts
Manager Robbie Neilson must have hit all the right notes during his half-time team talk because within three minutes of the restart, his players halved the deficit thanks to a Liam Boyce header.
Some determined work from Aidan White down the Hearts left led to Andy Halliday picking up the loose ball and sending a pinpoint cross on to the head of Boyce, who nodded the ball past Conor Hazard.
Goal-line technology drama
Midway through the second period, Robbie Neilson's side got their deserved equaliser for a much-improved second half showing.
From a Josh Ginnelly corner, Stephen Kingsley got his head to the ball, lurking at the back post to send a header towards the crowded goalmouth.
The ball was lashed clear and it looked for a second like Celtic had averted the danger, however referee John Beaton pointed to his watch after he was alerted by the goal-decision system that the ball had in fact crossed the line.
It set the stage for a dramatic final 15 minutes at a rain soaked Hampden Park.
Inseparable after 90 minutes
Both teams pushed on in the bid for a winner, but could not find the required answers to breakthrough the opposing defences as the game finished level after 90 minutes.
It was the first Scottish Cup final to go to extra-time since 2006. On that day, Hearts won the match on penalties against Gretna, with Robbie Neilson lifting the trophy as a player that day.
Griffiths finds familiar net
With seconds left in the first half of extra-time, substitute Leigh Griffiths popped up with a crucial goal at a time when his side really needed it.
A towering header from Celtic skipper Brown from a Christie corner was parried by Gordon in the Hearts goal, but the Scotland striker was on hand to rifle the ball high in to the net.
It was another goal at that famous end for Griffiths, who famously fired two freekicks past Joe Hart against England in the same Hampden goal.
...But Hearts roar back again
Just as it looked like Hearts had suffered a devastating blow, another substitute had a say on proceedings.
A dangerous delivery from a freekick was not dealt with by Hazard between the Celtic posts and, as the ball was nodded back across goal, the holders failed to clear the danger.
In came the brave Ginnelly at the back post to throw himself at the loose ball and pull the Edinburgh outfit level again.
In the ten minutes that followed, neither side found what was needed to avoid the game going to penalties and the afternoon was set to be decided in the most dramatic fashion - from the penalty spot.
Hazard heroics deliver quadruple treble
It was a perfect start for both sides from the spot before Craig Gordon denied Ryan Christie.
However, the tide turned when Hazard made two impressive stops to swing the momentum back in his teams favour, before Ajer smashed home the winner.