Dundee United 0-2 Hibernian
Scottish Cup Semi-Final
Saturday, 8 May 2021
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Hibernian secured their spot in the Scottish Cup final for the first time since 2016 with an impressive 2-0 victory against Dundee United at Hampden.
The semi-final weekend of the 2020/21 competition began in rainy conditions in the southside of Glasgow, with Jack Ross' side lining up another day in the sun, five years on from their famous Scottish Cup triumph in 2016.
As it happened
Both sides had chances in the opening ten minutes to make the breakthrough, with the best of those falling to Lawrence Shankland. Collecting the ball midway inside the Hibernian half, the United frontman charged toward the edge of the box with options left and right. His attempted ball through for Ian Harkes was overhit and too much for the midfielder to control and Micky Mellon's side failed to capitalise on a glorious opportunity.
Down the other end, Melker Hallberg's rasping strike flew wide of the mark from 25-yards out just moments before Calum Butcher earned the first caution of the match for a strong challenge on Martin Boyle.
With Jack Ross' men enjoying a lot of the ball, another opportunity fell to United on the break and again, it fell to Harkes.
Marc McNulty picked out the midfielder with a pinpoint delivery from the right, but with the ball dropping a fraction behind Harkes, he couldn't adjust his body to ensure his header hit the target and it soared high and wide.
Kevin Nisbet was inches from opening the scoring in the 25th minute, when Boyle's deflected ball from the right found the in form striker who created a yard for the shot with his first touch and, with his second, steered the ball back across goal and narrowly wide of the keeper's bottom right corner.
Three minutes later though, he found that corner in style. Jackson Irvine rolled the ball in-field to the striker who, on the edge of the box, took a touch to set himself before passing the ball calmly beyond Mehmet to open the scoring.
It was the difference between the sides going in to the break but just over ten minutes after the restart, the Edinburgh outfit soon doubled their advantage.
Boyle, breaking at pace, slipped in Christian Doidge who steered his first-time finish beyond Mehmet with a wonderful finish, however it looked to be from an offside position.
Christian Doidge doubles @HibernianFC 's lead, but it's a controversial one! 😱— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) May 8, 2021
A fantastic move has Hibs on course for the final at the moment, but the replay shows the flag should have gone up for offside 😬#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/kj8z6C4Zhd
That sparked a terrific response from United though, who immediately sprung in to life. Superb movement from Shankland nearly led to a perfect response, ghosting across his man towards the front post to fire a low effort at goal first time, but Macey got down well to turn his effort around the post.
Moments later, Marc McNulty struck a thunderous effort towards goal, flying just past the post, before Jamie Robson sent a side-footed volley beyond Macey and wide of the post, despite having more time than he appeared to realise.
After a decent period for Mellon's men, Hibs began to take back control of the fixture and so nearly bagged a third with 20 minutes remaining.
A wonderful surging run from Boyle caused United all sorts of problems before he was eventually brought to a halt on the edge of the box where Ryan Edwards chopped him down and presented Jack Ross' side with an opportunity from the free-kick. Up stepped Nisbet, curling a brilliant effort over the wall but too centrally to trouble Mehmet, who palmed the ball over the bar.
Hibs saw the game out, controlling a flurry of United attacks late in the game, lining up a return to Hampden on May 22 where they will take on St Mirren or St Johnstone.
Dundee United: Mehmet, Smith, Edwards, Reynolds, Robson, Harkes (Pawlett, '60), Butcher, Fuchs, McNulty, Shankland, Clark (Sporle, '53)
Unused subs: Doohan, Connolly, Chalmers, Appere, Davidson, Watson, Smith
Hibernian: Macey, Hanlon, Porteous (McGregor, '73), McGinn, Doidge, Boyle, Newell (Magennis, '60), Nisbet (Murphy, '84), Hallberg, Doig, Irvine
Unused Subs: Marciano, Gray, Wright, Stevenson, Laidlaw