Aberdeen ended the season with a 2-1 win over Hibs at Easter Road, but it wasn’t enough to guarantee European football for next season.
The Dons needed to triumph in the capital and hope Kilmarnock slipped up against Rangers at Rugby Park.
But Eamonn Brophy’s late penalty for Killie meant they beat the Gers 2-1 and pipped the Reds to third spot and a place in next season’s Europa League qualifiers on goal difference.
Fourth-placed Aberdeen could still be in Europe for a sixth successive season if Celtic beat Hearts in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
The Reds came from behind to win at Easter Road. Marc McNulty put Hibs ahead, but Sam Cosgrove and James Wilson scored to overturn the deficit and Cosgrove had a penalty saved by Ofir Marciano in stoppage time.
Dons boss McInnes made two changes to the side which beat Hearts 2-1 at Pittodrie last Friday week.
Goalie Joe Lewis dropped out due to a knee problem sustained against the Jambos, with Tomas Cerny making his second appearance of the season between the sticks.
Greg Stewart – who netted the winner against Hearts – also dropped out of the squad and Connor McLennan was drafted in on his return from a hamstring injury sustained in the 2-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox last month.
The men from the Granite City threatened first in the second minute when Lewis Ferguson shot from 25 yards, but goalie Marciano dived to his right and made a good save.
After Aberdeen’s bright start Shay Logan made an important intervention in defence on six minutes after Hibs broke forward down the right.
David Gray got clear and played the ball across, but Logan slid in to stop Fraser Murray getting a shot away.
To finish third Aberdeen also required Kilmarnock to drop points against Rangers at Rugby Park, but the Ayrshire side went in front after eight minutes through Chris Burke.
Hibs upped the intensity after the quarter hour with striker McNulty a handful for the Dons defence. The Reading loanee had a snapshot held by Cerny before glancing a header wide soon after.
Cerny also made a good save to hold Stevie Mallan’s rasping free-kick from near the left angle of the penalty area.
But there was nothing Cerny could do in the 26th minute as Hibs took the lead.
Murray had space in front of the Aberdeen backline and chipped the ball into the box for McNulty – who was onside as a result of Max Lowe being slightly deeper than his fellow defenders – and McNulty made no mistake sending a low finish past Cerny from 12 yards with his right foot.
A couple of minutes after the goal the hosts were close again. Daryl Horgan found Murray but his curler from 20 yards drifted just wide.
Aberdeen did regain a foothold in the game after being rocked for a spell following the opener and 10 minutes from half-time Ferguson’s bending long range free-kick was well-held by Marciano.
But a minute later McNulty missed a great chance to double Hibs’ lead. Stephane Omeonga lifted in a cross from the left for McNulty who was completely free at the back post.
However, instead of heading for goal the hitman tried to knock the ball across for Horgan who was onrushing and the Dons cleared the danger.
For all Hibs purposeful play in the first period the Dons hit back two minutes from half-time.
McLennan broke down the left and reach the byline, his low cutback found Cosgrove and despite the striker taking a heavy touch he still got to the ball first and rammed home a left-footed shot from six yards for his 21st goal of the season.
The second period started with lots of effort and energy from both sides in the middle of the park, but neither team able to get on top.
In the 56th minute Hibs carved out the first clear chance since the break when Horgan’s floated cross from the right found Murray free eight yards out, but he could only head tamely straight at Cerny.
On the hour Horgan was close when he moved in from the right and arrowed a left-footed shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
After that promising period for Hibs they were stunned when Aberdeen took the lead in the 63rd minute and it was a fine team goal.
McLennan did well to find Cosgrove on the left side of the area, he rolled the ball beyond Darren McGregor for sub Stevie May, who could have shot as he was only 14 yards out, but with the Hibs backline caught short May knocked it across for Wilson to gleefully tap home from eight yards.
Things got even better for Aberdeen just after Wilson’s goal as news filtered through that Alfredo Morelos had equalised for Rangers against Kilmarnock, meaning the Reds were on course to finish third.
Soon after Cosgrove’s angled drive brought a good stop out of Marciano at the near post.
With 20 minutes left Cerny preserved the Dons’ lead when he plunged to his right to save Gray’s strike from eight yards after Lewis Stevenson’s cross from the left flank found its way through to the Easter Road skipper.
On 77 minutes Gary Mackay-Steven was introduced from the bench in place of McLennan.
It was the winger’s first appearance since early March due to an ankle problem and it may be his last game for the Dons with his contract set to expire and interest from MLS side New York City.
Aberdeen had the chance to add a third in stoppage time when Mackay-Steven was tripped by McGregor, but Cosgrove’s spot-kick was straight down the middle and Marciano saved with his legs.
The cruel twist for Dons had come with three minutes left at Rugby Park as Brophy converted a penalty to put Kilmarnock back in front against Rangers meaning they pip the Reds to third spot on goal difference.
Hibs: Ofir Marciano, David Gray, Paul Hanlon, Mark Milligan (Marvin Bartley 64), Daryl Horgan (Oli Shaw 79), Marc McNulty, Stevie Mallan, Lewis Stevenson, Darren McGregor, Fraser Murray, Stephane Omeonga (Vykintas Slivka 83).
Subs not used: Adam Bogdan, Steven Whittaker, Thomas Agyepong, Florian Kamberi.
Aberdeen: Tomas Cerny, Shay Logan, Andy Considine, Scott McKenna, Max Lowe, Dom Ball (Stevie May 61), Lewis Ferguson (Mikey Devlin 85), James Wilson, Graeme Shinnie, Connor McLennan (Gary Mackay-Steven 77), Sam Cosgrove.
Subs not used: David Craddock, Stephen Gleeson, Dean Campbell, Ethan Ross.