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Aberdeen 3 - 3 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Celtic

Scottish Cup Semi Final
Aberdeen lost on penalties 5-6
Aberdeen scorers: Miovski 2, Sokler 90, MacDonald 119.
Celtic scorers: Kuhn 21, Forrest 63, O'Riley 106

20/04/2024 | KO: 12:30

Penalty Heartache for The Dons at Hampden

A heroic Aberdeen effort at Hampden Park was, in the end, all about penalties – not just the shootout that ultimately went Celtic’s way, but two penalty decisions that went against the Dons.

There was just the one change for Aberdeen from the side that drew 0-0 with Dundee last Saturday, the suspended Graeme Shinnie replaced by Dante Polvara, Angus MacDonald taking the captain’s armband. Shayden Morris and fit again Slobodan Rubezic returned to the bench, James McGarry missing out.

After beating St Mirren 3-0 last weekend, Celtic made two changes, Callum McGregor and Liam Scales coming back into the side in place of Maik Nawrocki and Tomoki Iwata.

Hampden was bathed in sunshine as the sides kicked off, Aberdeen knocking the ball around confidently right from the off, and it was genuinely no surprise when the Dons took the lead after 1 minute and 58 seconds. There was good work from Jamie McGrath initially, then a lovely pass from Leighton Clarkson split the Celtic centre-halves and released Bojan Miovski to run in behind. One on one with Hart, there was no mistake from the Aberdeen number nine.

Celtic should have been level on five minutes. Kuhn wriggled into space to pull the ball back from the by-line, Roos could only parry it and from the loose ball, Yang had the goal at his mercy from six yards, but somehow put his header over the bar.

Miovski was on the chase again after nine minutes and he looked to have been hauled down by Carter-Vickers some 40 yards out, but the Celtic man got away with it – had he been penalised, there would have surely been a card to go with it.

A raking long ball from Scales found Kyogo at inside-right and his fierce volley at goal was well blocked by Roos after 13 minutes. Moments later, Kuhn went down injured with blood streaming from his nose. He took lengthy treatment and had to go off the pitch for a spell before resuming. Five minutes later, McGrath wasn’t happy with Kyogo’s part in a collision between the two and brushed away his helping hand as he got to his feet.

Having done so well, there was disaster for the Dons on 21 minutes when MacDonald stumbled as he got the ball caught under his feet 30 yards out. That allowed Kyogo to pick his pocket and though Stefan Gartenmann made a brilliant block on his shot, the ball then rolled into the path of Kuhn who had an empty net into which to put the ball to level things up.

Aberdeen responded quickly, a McGrath ball behind Carter-Vickers giving Miovski something to run onto, but Hart came sprinting off his line to smother the ball just in front of him. Duk played a clever reverse pass inside on 26, Clarkson running onto it, but his cross was gobbled up by Hart. Aberdeen were certainly giving Celtic plenty to worry about in defence though.

Celtic were enjoying the bulk of possession as expected, and McGregor took a pop at goal from 25 yards on 39 minutes, the ball rising over the bar, Roos untroubled by the effort. Johnston tried one from virtually the same spot two minutes later, this one low and across the face of goal, skimming wide of the far post.

Gartenmann had a good chance after 41 minutes, a low free-kick from the right wing skipping through a ruck of bodies in the penalty area and reaching Gartenmann who, stretching to make contact as the ball ran away from him, still forced a good save from Hart.

On 44, Polvara scooped the ball forward for Miovski to chase once more. He looked to turn inside into the box and as he did so, the ball struck Scales on the right wrist as he moved his hand towards it. Miovski was vociferous in his protests, and he had every right to be. VAR checked it and gave nothing, ruling the offence took place outside the box.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 CELTIC 1

Aberdeen started the second half brightly, McGrath having a strike at goal that flashed over the bar in the 47th minute following a free-kick on the left corner of the box.

Nicky Devlin needed a spell of help from the medics after 53 minutes, eventually getting back to his feet and back into the action as Celtic began to dominate possession without finding a clear opportunity as we moved towards the hour mark. Incredible close control from Hatate almost undid the Dons in the 61st minute though, but his pull-back from the by-line was cleared.

Celtic made a double change on 62 minutes, Yang and McGregor making way for Forrest and Iwata. It proved an inspired change for, within a minute, Forrest had his side in front, cutting inside from the left before producing a curling drive from 20 yards out that found its way into the bottom corner.

Kuhn was booked a minute later for dragging Jack MacKenzie down, then Duk made way for Junior Hoilett in the 69th minute. Idah became Celtic’s third change, replacing Kyogo a minute later.

Forrest should have had his second on 72 minutes, collecting a cross from the right at the back post, but a vital block from Connor Barron kept him at bay as Celtic continued to press Aberdeen back. Carter-Vickers was next to try his luck, his glancing header from a corner drifting wide of goal. It was Forrest again on 77 minutes, stabbing a shot at goal from just inside the area, Roos down to his right to save as Aberdeen struggled to get out of defence.

Devlin needed fresh treatment in the 78th minute but his race was run, replaced by Jack Milne, Ester Sokler coming on for Polvara at the same time. The Dons should have been level almost immediately, Sokler winning a header on halfway to get Miovski away. He picked out a pass for Hoilett to go one on one with the goalkeeper, but his first touch was poor, taking him away from goal and, with Hart bearing down on him, the angle was gone and he fired wide, a huge let off for Celtic.

Aberdeen were pouring forward now and Hoilett almost had the Dons level on 85. Clarkson’s deep cross was spilled by Hart to the feet of Hoilett, but as he blasted it at goal from four yards out, Carter-Vickers was able to block on the line.

Palma and Bernardo replaced Kuhn and Hatate in the 86th minute, Killian Phillips coming on for Clarkson. Scales should have sealed the tie for Celtic in the 88th minute, a free header from six yards out but he out it over the bar.

The next goal came at the other end – and the Dons deserved it. Just as ewe headed into six minutes of added time, Hoilett had the ball on the left edge of the box after Gartenmann picked him out. He measured his cross to perfection, arcing over Hart to the back post where Sokler came bustling in, beat Scales to the ball and buried his header into the net.

Back came Celtic, Forrest trying to curve in a shot with the outside of the right boot in the 93rdminute, Roos down to his right to save. Palma then headed a Johnston cross through the six-yard box but thankfully, there were no takers. Straight up the other end and Hoilett had another crack at goal from just inside the box, this one blocked to safety.

Idah looked to have won it in the 97th minute, the goal at his mercy from seven yards out, only for MacKenzie to swoop down on him with a magnificent block to send the game into extra-time.

FULL-TIME: ABERDEEN 2 CELTIC 2

Sokler was inches away from giving the Dons the lead in the fourth minute of extra-time. A lovely pass from McGrath was similar to Clarkson’s right at the start of the game and it had Sokler away from Carter-Vickers, but the ball held up on the turf slightly and Sokler had to dig it out from behind him, putting his effort just wide.

Barron and Miovski both went down for treatment in the 97th minute and though Barron was able to continue, Miovski had to make way for Morris.

In the first minute of added time, Celtic were in front again, Forrest picking out Johnston with a neat pass, and his pull-back went straight to O’Riley who took a touch and then clubbed the ball into the roof of the net.

HALF-TIME (Extra-Time): ABERDEEN 2 CELTIC 3

Ryan Duncan replaced Barron at the break for the Dons as they sought another equaliser, but Celtic retained possession in the early exchanges of the second half, Aberdeen struggling to get out of their own half. MacDonald had to find a great tackle to deny Idah as he darted in on goal in the 110thminute. Idah did have the ball in the net a minute later, but he was clearly a couple of yards offside.

Aberdeen were back up the other end though and after MacKenzie had a shot blocked, Carter-Vickers hacked Hoilett down as he went for the loose ball, Carter-Vickers immediately putting his head in his hands. Referee Robertson pointed to the spot but after a VAR check, a foul was ruled in the build -up and Celtic were awarded a free-kick.

Sokler was inches away from an equaliser in the 115th minute, stretching to reach a ball into the box, poking it past Hart but just wide of the target. Narwocki replaced Forrest in the 119th minute.

It still wasn’t over though and it was MacDonald who rescued things with 30 seconds to go. Hoilett was the instigator again, curling the ball in from the left, picking out MacDonald at the back stick and his header was a carbon copy of Sokler’s to make it 3-3, an incredible response from the Dons.

Four minutes of time were added on, Morris booked in the third of them for kicking the ball away, McGrath following him in a minute later for a foul. Away to penalties.

3-2 for Celtic at end 1st half of extra time.
3-3 at the end of extra time.
Celtic won  on penalties 6-5

5+1 minutes added at end 1st half.
6+2 minutes added at end 2nd half.
2 minutes added at end 1st half extra time.
4 minutes added at end 2nd half extra time.
Idah sent Roos the wrong way to score. ABERDEEN 0 CELTIC 1

McGrath sent Hart the wrong way to score. ABERDEEN 1 CELTIC 1

Palma set Roos down and tucked it into the corner. ABERDEEN 1 CELTIC 2

MacDonald drove it underneath Hart’s body to score. ABERDEEN 2 CELTIC 2

O’Riley sent Roos the wrong way to score. ABERDEEN 2 CELTIC 3

Sokler went straight down the middle as Hart dived to his right. ABERDEEN 3 CELTIC 3

Bernardo squeezed it into the bottom corner, Roos getting a hand on it on the way. ABERDEEN 3 CELTIC 4

Roos injured himself in the process and needed lengthy treatment before continuing.

Duncan drove his shot against the foot of the post and the ball bounced out. ABERDEEN 3 CELTIC 4

Hart smashed his effort against the base of the post and out. ABERDEEN 3 CELTIC 4

Hoilett sent Hart the wrong way to level it all up. ABERDEEN 4 CELTIC 4

Johnston tucked his penalty into the bottom corner. ABERDEEN 4 CELTIC 5

Milne drove it through Hart and in. ABERDEEN 5 CELTIC 5

Iwata clipped his penalty into the roof of the net. ABERDEEN 5 CELTIC 6

Phillips put his kick just inside the post, Hart guessing right and saving to his left. ABERDEEN 5 CELTIC 6
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin (Milne 79), MacKenzie, Gartenmann, McGrath, Barron (Duncan 105), Miovski (Morris 100), Clarkson (Phillips 86), Lopes (Hoilett 69), Polvara (Sokler 79), MacDonald.

Unused Subs: Doohan, Jensen, Rubezic.

Bookings:  Sokler (91),  Morris (123),  McGrath (124).
Celtic Teamsheet
Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickes, Scales, Taylor, O'Riley, McGregor (Iwata 62), Hatate (Bernardo 86), Kuhn (palma 86), Furuhashi (Idah 70), Yang (Forrest 62 (Nawrocki 119)) Unused Subs: Bain, Kelly, Ralston

Bookings:  Kuhn 65
Attendance: 45,385
Visitors:7,187
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow
Referee: Don Robertson
Next Match
East Kilbride
A
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride