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Hearts 2 Celtic 1
Published : 15 Apr 2012 15:04:21
Drama right to the last minute in the William Hills Scottish Cup semi-final with Hearts taking the prize of a fianl place.
The sun shone again as Hearts and Celtic turned out for the second William Hills Scottish Cup semi-final of the weekend. Hibs left it late yesterday to win through and said they were not bothered who joined them next month. It will be an all Edinburgh affair on 19 May as Hearts saw out the game 2-1 with a last minute penalty converted by ex-Celt Craig Beattie consigning his old team to only having one prize to celebrate this season. Rudi Skacle had scored Hearts first to be equalised by Gary Hooper with four minutes to go. However the dram was not over as Hearts won and scored a penalty in the final minute of regulation time. The first half did not really trouble me in keeping notes with Hearts coping with anything that Celtic threw at them. While the goals were not under threat, it would have been good for the travelling fans from Edinburgh if their favourites ventured over the half-way line a bit more often. Of course Ian Black picked up his traditional yellow card after a tangle involving Charlie Mulgrew (who was also booked) and he may regret that. Celtic did get at least one ball on target with a header from Ki Sueg Yueng stotting off the post with the defence left guarding the middle to front post of the box. The body language of the respective manager was interesting to watch with be-suited Paulo Sergio testing the patience of the fourth official Stephen Finnie as he wandered out side the technical area to guide his players on several occasion. Neil Lennon on the other hand was calmness personified in his tracksuit as he made the occasional appearance in his technical area. Halt time brought relief on the form of pies and coffee and wishful thinking that things can only get better. And it did get better especially for Hearts when Rudi Skacel scored within a minute of the restart. He took the ball past Fraser Forster on the left and slotted the ball high into the roof of the net. Celtic did not seem to be able to find that extra gear they so often can call in in such circumstances. Hearts spent more time in the opposition half in the second 45 minutes. It was Celtic's turn to have the occasional foray towards Jamie MacDonald's goal. Ki managed to hit the post again, this time with a header, but luck was in short supply for the Parkhead side. As time was running out a lifeline was thrown their way as Hooper scored with a header with four minutes to go. This is usually the signal for Celtic to score another but this time the penalty was awarded the other way with a minute to go. The ball was struck hard against Joe ledley who was turning away but it struck his arm and Euan Norris pointed to the spot. Beattie was not going to let this chance slip and he fired the winner straight past Forster. The agony begins for Edinburgh fans as nobody wants to lose a cup final against their closest rival. Hearts: MacDonald, Grainger, Barr, Webster, Black, Elliott, Driver, McGowan, Skacel, Zaliukas, RobinsonSubs: Ridgers, Beattie, Santana, Templeton, Prychynenko Celtic: Forster, Wilson, Brown, Samaras. Commons, Ledley, Ki, Mulgrew, Loovens, Lustig, HooperSubs: Zaluska, Izaguirre, Stokes, McGeouch, WanyamaAttendance: 36,609