Inverness snatch 1-1 draw with Hibernian in Scottish Cup
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 07/03/16 1:08pm
Substitute Andrea Mbuyi-Mutumbo kept Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s hopes of retaining the Scottish Cup alive with a late equaliser in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Hibernian.
James Keatings gave the home side a 58th minute lead before Mbuyi-Mutumbo levelled for the Highlanders, five minutes after coming on as a substitute at Easter Road.
Caley Thistle made a blistering start to the game, forcing four corners in the first six minutes but they were unable to test Hibernian goalkeeper Mark Oxley.
Hibs should have taken a 10th-minute lead after Carl Tremarco was penalised for bringing down Keatings with a clumsy challenge.
Liam Henderson's measured cross gave Dylan McGeouch a free header but he was denied by a magnificent point-blank save from Owain Fon Williams, who got back up to palm away Liam Fontaine's close-range shot. Caley Thistle countered at pace but Liam Polworth blasted high and wide when he had options to pass.
Moments later Hibs had the ball in the back of the net only to see the goal disallowed. Anthony Stokes was played in by Kevin Thomson and rolled away from a challenge before shooting across goal and hitting the post. Keatings slotted the ball into the back of the net but saw his effort ruled out for off-side.
Hibs were forced into a first-half change when McGeouch's injury-plagued season continued, with Niklas Gunnarsson coming on to replace the former Celtic midfielder.
Keatings had an ambitious long-range effort saved by Fon Williams shortly before the interval but the sides went into half-time level.
Keatings tested Fon Williams again from long-range in the early stages of the second half, before eventually opening the scoring just shy of the hour mark.
Stokes played a delightful one-two with Keatings on the edge of the area before feeding Gray, who cut the ball back beautifully for the 24-year-old to sweep the ball into the corner from 10 yards.
Henderson should have made it two when after latching on to a Darren McGregor header across goal but the Scotland U21 international shot wildly, missing the target by some distance.
And Hibs were made to regret the missed opportunity when substitute Mbuyi-Mutumbo snatched an equaliser 13 minutes from time.
Mbuyi-Mutumbo picked the ball up midway in the Hibs half and played the ball to Miles Storey who picked out Lewis Horner's run into the area. The 24-year-old managed cut the ball across the face of the goal, allowing Jordan Roberts to lay the ball into the path of Mbuyi-Mutumbo who lashed the ball into the top left corner.
Storey should have done better when he picked up the ball on the edge area, but miscued his effort with ball trickling wide of his left hand post.
Danny Williams tested Oxley late on but the score remained level, forcing the sides to replay at the Caledonian Stadium on March 16.