Aberdeen defied the odds at Celtic Park tonight as they moved into the semi final of the Scottish Cup with an historic 1-0 win. The goal came in the 69th minute after they had soaked up a lot of pressure. The Dons inched their way up the left eventually winning the first corner of the second half. Nicholson fired the ball into the danger area and Celtic were slow to clear their lines allowing Darren Mackie to pounce and sweep the ball past Boruc. As expected Aberdeen had to do a lot of defending but they held out and sent the 1,800 Aberdeen fans into raptures.
Aberdeen kicked off in a sparsely filled Celtic Park but it was the home side who threatened first as Donati failed to test Soutar from 25 yards. The Dons had to contend with some early pressure as they failed to keep possession for any length of time. Vennegoor of Hesselink fired over in the 3rd minute but a minute later Miller won a free kick when he was flattened by Caldwell. Severin played the ball in but they failed to create a chance and after winning a throw in the ball was comfortably cleared. Celtic were quickly back on the offensive as they comfortably sprayed the ball about.
Aberdeen carved out their first chance in the 10th minute when Miller nodded down a Maybury cross and Naylor had to move smartly to block Nicholson as he looked to pull the trigger. Aberdeen had settled after the whirlwind start by Celtic but Soutar was forced into a save again in the 14th minute as he comfortably held on to a low Donati drive. Foster had a half-chance two minutes later when he had a dig from 25 yards out but the effort was sliced well wide of the target.
Touzani came to the rescue in the 19th minute as Celtic broke quickly from an Aberdeen attack. The Dutchman did well to deny Nakamura and concede the first corner of the match. From the set play Aberdeen in turn broke forward but Boruc was able to comfortably collect the ball as Mackie threatened. At the other end Soutar saved comfortably from Vennegoor of Hesselink after he met a Nakamura free kick. Celtic were enjoying the lion's share of the game at this stage but Aberdeen for the time being were holding firm and weathering the storm.
There were the usual screams for non existent penalties but Charlie Richmond was strong. Celtic then won a couple of quick corners in the 32nd minute as the home support finally found their voice, but once again Aberdeen cleared. Touzani was booked in the 34th minute for what appeared to be his first offence and as the ball was played into the Aberdeen area another appeal went up for a penalty, which appeared to be the case every time the ball went near the Aberdeen goal. The Dons had to endure a lot of pressure at this stage without Soutar really being tested.
Aberdeen relieved the pressure in the 37th minute but Maybury's free kick into the Celtic area failed to threaten. Celtic went close two minutes later when Vennegoor of Hesselink set up McDonald and the Australian striker shaved his effort inches wide of the post with Soutar looking beaten. Maybury won the Dons first corner in the 43rd minute after good play from Nicholson. Severin had a half chance as the ball was partially cleared but the captain tamely sent the ball wide. In the final seconds McManus made a poor pass back but Boruc was out quick to deny Foster.
Sone Aluko replaced Touzani at the interval but it was Celtic who once again took the game to Aberdeen. Celtic were awarded an early free kick when Maybury was harshly penalised for a challenge on McGeady, but Soutar eventually claimed the ball to end the danger. A McGeady shot was comfortably held by Soutar in the 50th minute before Aberdeen burst forward and won a throw in that Severin hurled into the box. After a short period of pressure Boruc gathered and the ball was thrust towards the Aberdeen goal again. Two minutes later Maybury sprung forward but sent his shot well wide of the goal.
Aluko got involved for the first time in the 57th minute but his final ball was poor. Diamond suffered two facial knocks in challenges with Vennegoor of Hesselink and the second in particular looked to be a very dangerous elbow into the face that the referee failed to penalise. The central defender required lengthy treatment and the home side tried to take advantage of the ten men and Aberdeen were lucky to escape punishment when McGeady shot wildly. Diamond then went into the dressing room for stitches as Celtic continued to spill forward. The young centre back failed to return and Lee Mair replaced him in the 64th minute almost seven minutes after the injury was suffered.
A minute later a decent effort from Donati went over the bar as Aberdeen tried to get a foothold in the match after being returned to a full compliment. Aberdeen then enjoyed another short spell of pressure as they worked their way down the left and eventually won the first corner of the second half. The resulting corner produced a precious goal for Aberdeen as Celtic failed to clear Nicholson's delivery and eventually the ball was played to Mackie and he drilled it past Boruc for a unexpected lead. Donati committed a dreadful challenge on Severin a couple of minutes later and the Italian should have been cautioned. Caldwell was lucky to escape a yellow in the 73rd minute for another poor challenge this time on Miller.
Celtic won a soft free kick in the 74th minute just as Samaras replaced McDonald and Soutar made a fine save from Nakamura as he was forced to concede a corner. From the set play Aberdeen had to boot the ball off the line and Aberdeen eventually scrambled the ball away under immense pressure. As expected Celtic started to sweep forward in droves as the Dons were forced deeper and deeper. Considine conceded another corner in the 78th minute and immediately they conceded a second as Soutar turned the ball out under pressure. Samaras then headed well wide in the 79th minute before Walker replaced McNamara and Lee Miller was handed the lone striker role.
There were screams for a penalty in the 81st minute, but all the shouts came from the terraces as Nakamura went down easily in a challenge with Foster. Aberdeen then had another half chance in the 83rd minute but Mackie couldn't finish. Seconds later Miller broke forward and he did well to hold on to the ball and invite a wild swing from Naylor that won a free kick at the corner flag. The free kick was wasted but had given a couple of minutes of reprieve. Riordan then replaced Caldwell with only six minutes remaining and Charlie Richmond then booked Maybury for some unknown reason.
Soutar made a fine save from Samaras before he let the ball squirm from him before it was booted clear. Aberdeen were having to defend desperately in these final five minutes as Celtic tried to throw everything at them. Up front Lee Miller looked to be a spent force and would surely struggle if extra time were to come. There were three minutes of stoppage time added after Diamond had required treatment. Donati was booked in injury time and there was an umpteenth claim for a spot kick in the 92nd minute but Richmond was not interested. A late corner saw Boruc come up but he headed the ball wide and Aberdeen were in the semi-final.