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Hearts vs Hibernian. Scottish Cup Semi-Final.

Hampden ParkAttendance37,783.

Hearts 2

  • E Simms (16th minute)
  • S Kingsley (21st minute)

Hibernian 1

  • C Cadden (22nd minute)
  • J Newell (sent off 64th minute)

Hearts 2-1 Hibernian: Hearts book cup final spot after win over bitter rivals

Match report as forward Ellis Simms and defender Stephen Kingsley send Hearts to the final where they will play Rangers or Celtic, who play on Sunday; Hearts are guaranteed European football next season

Hearts celebrate
Image: Hearts celebrate reaching the Scottish Cup final

Hearts held off 10-man Hibernian in a 2-1 win at Hampden Park to go through to their third Scottish Cup final in four years.

Terrific strikes from forward Ellis Simms and defender Stephen Kingsley propelled the Jambos into a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes, before Hibs midfielder Chris Cadden immediately reduced the deficit.

In the 54th minute Hearts keeper Craig Gordon produced a stunning save to tip Ryan Porteous' header from a corner onto the post and gratefully gathered the rebound.

In a feisty and occasionally tetchy encounter, Hibs midfielder Joe Newell was sent off in the 64th minute by referee John Beaton for picking up the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Peter Haring.

Hearts, who play one of Celtic or Rangers in the final, are now guaranteed a spot in the Europa League whatever happens in the final, having already secured third place in the Premiership. They will play in a Europa League play-off spot with the safety net of the Europa Conference League group stage if they lose it.

After the chastening derby defeat last week, Hibs boss Shaun Maloney made five changes with Ryan Porteous returning from suspension and James Scott, Ewan Henderson, Lewis Stevenson and the fit-again Paul McGinn back in the team.

An unchanged Hearts side had to withstand some early Hibs pressure with an early shout for an Easter Road penalty, when the ball struck the top of Jambos defender Kingsley's arm and was ignored by referee Beaton, judging it to
be tight to his side.

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Barrie McKay quickly played forward to Simms and the 21-year-old on-loan Everton attacker wasted no time in arrowing a shot from 20 yards past keeper Matt Macey.

Ellis Simms
Image: Ellis Simms opening the scoring with a powerful effort from range

The second goal five minutes later was even better and came after Hearts won a free-kick 35 yards from goal.

Kingsley played the ball to Liam Boyce who laid it back off and curled a wonderful shot high past the helpless Macey.

It looked ominous for the Leith side but just over a minute later, Cadden pulled a goal back at the second attempt from 14 yards, after his first shot from Lewis Stevenson's cut-back was blocked.

Tynecastle midfielder Andy Halliday, who shrugged off a knock to start, limped off in the 39th minute to be replaced by Aaron McEneff.

Hearts suffered a blow early in the second half when, following a tackle from Hibs attacker James Scott, defender Craig Halkett had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and replaced by Taylor Moore.

As Hearts reorganised, Hibs pressed for the leveller.

However, Hibs' momentum was halted when Newell, booked early in the first half for a foul on McKay, was sent off for picking up a second yellow card for his sliding tackle on Haring.

Hibs kept attacking but Hearts also began to threaten, with Macey making a decent save in the 73rd minute from Simms' low drive.

Elias Melkersen and Josh Campbell replaced Stevenson and Paul McGinn as Maloney went for broke in the final 15 minutes.

Gordon saved a 30-yard free-kick from Henderson down at his right-hand post and Melkersen headed a Cadden cross wide of the target but even eight minutes of added time - where Gordon saved a free-kick from substitute Chris Mueller - could not bring an equaliser.

What's next?

Hibs travel to St Mirren on Saturday at 3pm, and Hearts travel to Dundee United on Sunday at 3pm, in the second phase of the Scottish Premiership.

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