Hibernian reaches first Scottish Cup final in five years after goals from Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge avert Dundee United … with St Johnstone or St Mirren awaiting them
- Hibernian beat Dundee United 2-0 to secure their place in the Scottish Cup final
- Goals from Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge ensure the victory in Hampden Park
- Hibs will play the winner of St Mirren against St Johnstone on Sunday
Hibernian secured a Scottish Cup final for the first time in five years with a convincing 2-0 win over Dundee United in rainy Hampden Park.
The stunning finish of Scottish international Kevin Nisbet from just outside the penalty area in the 27th minute gave Hibs a well-deserved lead in a semi-final.
Fellow forward Christian Doidge added a second in the 58th minute, despite looking offside to keep his record of scoring in every round.
Hibernian has reached the first Scottish cup final in five years after a 2-0 win over Dundee United
Micky Mellon’s men, hitherto insipid, came to life, but the damage was already done and they will return to Tannadice to lick their wounds.
Hibs had lost two semifinals this season – and five since winning the Scottish Cup in 2016 – but was not in the mood for any more disappointment.
The Jack Ross team will play against St Mirren or St Johnstone, who will face each other in the final on May 22 at the national stadium.
Hampden Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Leith men this season.
Ross’s men lost the postponed semi-final of the Scottish Cup 2019/20 to Edinburgh rival Hearts last October and the semi-final of the Betfred Cup to St Johnstone in January.
The Easter Road side, with goalkeeper Matt Macey, midfielder Melker Hallberg and Nisbet back on the side, looked lively in the early stages.
Kevin Nisbet (right) put Hibs ahead 1-0 after 28 minutes with a fine attack from outside the box
In the 10th minute, Hallberg thundered on a ride from 25 meters that whistled past Deniz Mehmet’s left post.
United in turn looked dangerous on the counter and moments later midfielder Ian Harkes headed over from a cross from Marc McNulty.
Harkes had previously been frustrated by an over-pass from Lawrence Shankland into Hibs’ penalty area after a break.
But then Nisbet struck.
In the 26th minute, his shot on the turn from 16 meters saw the ball just wide of the far post.
It was he who just set his sights.
A minute later he got a pass from midfielder Jackson Irvine 20 yards from goal and with precision he sent a low shot past Mehmet and into the corner of the net.
Hibs doubled their lead in the second half with a low shot from Christian Doidge (right)
It was a great finish and with the arrival of the European Championship next month, Scottish boss Steve Clarke would have been noticed.
Hibs took a tighter grip on the game and Nisbet, bolstered by confidence, was wayward with a long-range effort just before half-time.
United had it all in the second half, not least when testing Macey.
The Hibs goalkeeper saw Nicky Clark’s free kick fly over the bar from 25 meters high and the United attacker was quickly replaced by Adrian Sporle.
The Easter Road team’s second goal was offside.
Martin Boyle took a tap from Nisbet and slid into Doidge, who looked like he had left too soon, but he stuck to his task and directed his shot low past Mehmet.
United finally responded.
Shankland pulled a save from Macey with a near-post drive before McNulty shot just wide of the goal from 20 yards.
Jack Ross’ (left) Hibs has already lost two semifinals this season and is finally in a final
Then, in the 67th minute, Jamie Robson hit a cross from Liam Smith from 12 yards past the post.
But pushing forward left gaps and only one last bout from Smith denied Boyle at the break.
A effervescent free kick from 20 yards from Nisbet, after Boyle fouled Ryan Edwards, was pushed over the bar by Mehmet, but the Terrors defended the corner.
Hibs threatened to increase their lead.
Jamie Murphy replaced Nisbet and his powerful drive was pushed past the post at full force by Mehmet.
On the other hand, Shankland had saved another stoppage time attempt by Macey to end hopes for an unlikely comeback.