Dons through to League Cup semi final after shoot-out win

Hibernian's Martin Boyle (left) holds off Aberdeen's Max Love.
Hibernian's Martin Boyle (left) holds off Aberdeen's Max Love.

Aberdeen reached the League Cup semi finals with a penalty shoot-out victory over Hibs at Easter Road.

After the game finished 0-0 following extra-time the Reds progressed to the last-four 6-5 on spot-kicks.

Thomas Agyepong was hit the crossbar with Hibs’ seventh penalty to give the visitors from Pittodrie the victory after an incredible night in Edinburgh.

Dons boss Derek McInnes made one change to the team that beat Motherwell 1-0 on Saturday.

Niall McGinn was nursing a groin problem and dropped to the bench with Max Lowe coming in the left wing-back role.

Andrew Considine lined up on the left of a back three alongside Mikey Devlin and Scott McKenna.

The Reds created the first chance in the third minute when Gary Mackay-Steven swirled in a free-kick from the left, Devlin headed across goal from the back post, Considine met the knockdown, but his shot was blocked by Mark Milligan who eventually cleared at the second attempt.

Five minutes later Florian Kamberi passed up a brilliant chance to put the hosts ahead.

Stevie Mallan linked with Emerson Hyndman, who slipped the ball through for Kamberi, the Swiss striker got round Considine and keeper Joe Lewis, but from 10 yards the Swiss striker shot wide with the goal gaping, although he was slightly off balance.

After that the game settled down and there were less chances. For Aberdeen Mackay-Steven fizzed a half-volley wide and for Hibs Mallan floated a free-kick from long range onto the roof of the net.

On the half hour the men from the Granite City were inches away from taking the lead.

Milligan fouled James Wilson 27 yards out after some classy play from the Manchester United loanee.

Dominic Ball stepped up and his right foot strike hit the underside of the bar and bounced down – but it didn’t cross the line and Hibs survived.

The Leith men threatened soon after when Lewis had to push Mallan’s swerving 20-yards behind for a fruitless corner.

On 34 minutes Martin Boyle had the ball in the net after taking Paul Hanlon’s long ball, but ref Steven McLean ruled it out for handball by Boyle.

The winger passed up another excellent chance moments later when Hyndman put him clear down the right, but Boyle’s effort was neither a cross or a shot from the right of the box and it drifted harmlessly behind.

Two minutes before the break Lewis had to be sharp to deny Oli Shaw from the edge of the area after a sweeping Hibs break and the Reds keeper clasped the rebound before Hyndman could pounce.

The first effort of note in the second period came when Sam Cosgrove touched Considine’s pass into Mackay-Steven’s path and from the edge of the box he forced a save from home keeper Adam Bogdan.

Just prior to the hour Kamberi had another good chance for Hibs, he got past Devlin with a dummy before cutting in from the left, but from 14 yards his shot flew over the bar.

With 20 minutes to play it was only Lewis that kept the score level. Mallan’s free-kick from the left came through to Paul Hanlon at the back post, but as the defender looked set to net the opener Lewis bravely blocked to keep the score at 0-0.

In the 79th minute link-up play between Kamberi and Hyndman ended with the latter firing wide from 18 yards when he should have been testing Lewis.

Soon after the American did test Lewis with a low drive from the edge of the area, but it was straight at the goalie.

With five minutes left Hibs should have won the tie when Hyndman played Shaw in. The striker was completely clear on the right of the area but from 12 yards pulled the shot just wide of the left post.

Neither team could force a winner after that so extra-time was required.

In the additional half hour the first effort came from sub Thomas Agyepong, but Lewis held the shot at his near post.

For the Dons subs Chris Forrester and Stevie May combined and the striker was clear, but as Milligan raced back May tugged the shot wide from just inside the box.

With three minutes of the first half of extra-time left sub McGinn passed up a gilt-edged chance.

Ball was free in midfield and with the home defence lop-sided he slipped in McGinn on the right of the area, he had time to take a touch but the Northern Irishman blazed over from 14 yards.

Nine minutes into the second half of extra time Hibs were close to the lead again when Agyepong floated in a cross from the left, Ryan Porteous met it with a glancing header.

It was destined for the net until Considine intervened with a header over the bar for a fruitless corner.

After that there were no more chances and penalties were required to separate the two teams.

In the shoot-out Shinnie scored with the Dons’ first before Mallan was denied by Lewis’ brilliant save diving to his right.

Mackay-Steven scored and Vykintas Slivka did the same but McGinn was thwarted by Bogdan low to his left and Whittaker stepped up to make it 2-2.

After that Anderson, May, Forrester and McKenna scored for Aberdeen with Stevenson, Boyle and Shaw scoring for Hibs, but with their seventh spot kick Agyepong hit the crossbar, the ball bounced down and away and the Dons go through to the semi-final 6-5 on penalties.

Hibernian: Adam Bogdan, Efe Ambrose, Ryan Porteous, Paul Hanlon (Thomas Agyepong 91); Martin Boyle, Mark Milligan (Steven Whittaker 104), Stevie Mallan, Emerson Hyndman (Marvin Bartley 91), Lewis Stevenson; Florian Kamberi (Vykintas Slivka 104), Oli Shaw.

Subs not used: Ross Laidlaw, Daryl Horgan, Darren McGregor.

Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Shay Logan, Mikey Devlin, Scott McKenna, Andy Considine Max Lowe (Niall McGinn 61); Gary Mackay-Steven, Dominic Ball (Bruce Anderson 112), Graeme Shinnie; Sam Cosgrove (Stevie May 78), James Wilson (Chris Forrester 90+3).

Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Stephen Gleeson, Dean Campbell.

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