Hearts 2-2 Hibernian: Paul Hanlon pounces late to earn Cup replay
Last Updated: 07/02/16 5:21pm
Hibernian scored twice in a breathless final 10 minutes to secure an unlikely 2-2 draw as Hearts let slip the chance to seal their place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Championship side Hibs won their way through to the League Cup final at the home of their arch rivals last weekend but the hosts looked set fair for a place in the last eight of the SFA tournament as sweet strikes from Arnaud Djoum and Sam Nicholson gave them the half-time lead at windswept Tynecastle.
Jason Cummings' header 10 minutes from time gave the men from Easter Road fresh hope and Paul Hanlon slid in the equaliser in the first minute of added time to spark wild celebrations in the Roseburn Stand.
Neil Alexander was the first goalkeeper to be called into action, pawing away John McGinn's curling effort from the angle before Cummings' celebrations were cut short as he was flagged offside when poking home from close in.
Anthony Stokes headed narrowly over the top under pressure from a corner but goal-scoring opportunities remained at a premium until Djoum took matters into his own hands.
Lewis Stevenson's headed clearance fell to the Hearts man 25 yards out and to the right of goal; he steadied himself and launched a stinging strike that fizzed beyond Mark Oxley's despairing dive and nestled in the side-netting (32).
Hibs refused to be cowed, with Cummings and Liam Henderson pulling the strings, and probed with intent but their task became doubly difficult just before the interval.
Callum Paterson swung a long angled ball to Nicholson (44) lurking on the corner of the penalty area. The tricky winger cushioned the ball on his chest and fired low, right-footed between David Gray's legs and inside Oxley's near post.
Stokes, looking for his first competitive goal since December 2014, blazed over the top from a free-kick and Henderson shot tamely as Hibs struggled for a toehold as the Hearts defence held firm, despite the blustery conditions.
Stokes drilled wide from another free-kick as Hearts continued to sit deep but Hibs' hopes were suddenly revived when Cummings' (80) looping header dropped beyond the static Alexander.
Renewed belief coursed through the visiting ranks as a rampaging Stevenson shot straight at Alexander after a flowing move and McGinn dragged wide when well placed.
Still the pressure came but Hibs' hopes seemed to have faded until Alexander palmed away Darren McGregor's header and Hanlon (90+1) pounced to fire in from eight yards.
There was still time for Niklas Gunnarsson to send an attempted clearance bouncing off his own crossbar and Kevin Thomson had to hack the resultant corner off the line to guarantee a second attempt for his resilient side in Leith on Tuesday February 16.