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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Hibernian

Scottish Cup Semi Final
Aberdeen scorers: Stavrum 63, Dow 68.
Hibernian scorers: Latapay.

09/04/2000 | KO: 18:05

Dons fight back to claim cup final place

Aberdeen booked their place in their second cup final of the season when they came from behind to beat Hibs at Hampden. Hicham Zerouali failed to make the squad as the Dons showed only one change from the side that held Rangers last week. Skipper Derek Whyte returned in the place of Derek Lilley.

The Dons kicked off this semi with their usual contrived move. As with all other attempts this season, it came to nothing. Both sides took a while to settle and the first goalmouth incident saw Leighton come off his line in the 5th minute to collect a through ball. A minute later Aberdeen created their first chance when Mayer headed a Guntveit cross wide of the target. Hibs responded when Sauzee latched on to a weak clearance and drilled the ball low for Leighton to block. Hibs stepped up a gear and ex Don Mixu Paatelainen had a couple of half chances in the space of a few minutes, but both were screwed wide. In the 15th minute, good interplay by Hibs ended with Latapy shooting high. A minute later, Whyte made a great interception to stifle another Hibs attack. Aberdeen should have taken the lead in the 21st minute when Dow found himself one-on-one with Colgan. The midfielder failed to control and the chance was lost.

A minute later McIntosh hauled Stavrum back just outside the box and got a booking for his troubles. Dow attempted to swerve the ball round the wall, but never got enough height on it. Aberdeen were starting to impose themselves on the match and in the 24th minute, Stavrum was put through but just failed to connect. A minute later the Norwegian forced another corner. Whyte flicked the corner on and Solberg should have done better than blasting it high over the bar. Stavrum and Jess were causing real problems for the Hibs defence as the Dons created more openings. Aberdeen were nearly caught out in the 31st minute when Stuart Lovell shot wide after Leighton narrowed the angle. The first half ended in a flurry of activity with Jess hitting a great volley towards goal. Unfortunately it was straight at keeper Colgan. Hibs went straight up the other end and Leighton was forced into a desperate save.

Both sides made a bright start to the second half and in the 49th minute Stavrum was just beaten to the ball by Colgan. A minute later the Norwegian was in the thick of the action again with a headed effort. However, the striker was well offside. Hibs were having real problems in keeping Stavrum out, and in the 51st minute he could well have grabbed the lead when he held off a defender and fired in a shot that the keeper did well to save. Aberdeen won a free kick wide left when Guntveit was fouled. Jess's delivery was cleared and Aberdeen found themselves outnumbered at the back. Russell Latapy went on a brilliant solo run which ended with him firing past Leighton to give Hibs the lead. The Dons rose to the challenge and pinned Hibs back forcing corner after corner.

Their effort was rewarded in the 63rd minute when some good play ended with a Dow drive being blocked once again by Colgan. This time however, Arild Stavrum was on hand to net the rebound. It was "game on" now, as the two teams tried to gain the upper hand. The winner came in the 69th minute and was one of the best moves of the game. Guntveit swung in a telling cross from the right and Arild Stavrum cut the ball back to ex Hibee, Andy Dow. He made no mistake as he burst the net with a right foot shot that Colgan had no chance of stopping. Stavrum could have put it beyond doubt a minute later, but Colgan once more denied him. With five minutes to go Aberdeen had a period of play where they strung a series of passes together and had Hibs chasing shadows. Late substitutions were Belabed for Stavrum and Lilley for Dow. The young Moroccan managed to pick up a yellow card and could well have been sent off for a wild challenge a few minutes later.

This was a great team performance with every player giving his all, but I must give special mention to Eion Jess who was back to his best. Solberg and Whyte looked solid at the back and although Hibs keeper, Nick Colgan had a great game, man of the Match should have gone to Arild Stavrum. The fans once again were tremendous and were certainly vocal throughout the match. A great moment was at the end when Andy Dow went over to the crowd to give one of the fans a hug. This summed up the bond there is between the team and the squad. The Dons can now look forward to a cup final in May against a Rangers team going for the double.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Anderson, McAllister, Whyte, Solberg, Guntveit, Bernard, Dow (Lilley 90), Mayer, Jess, Stavrum (Belabed 86).

Unused Subs: Winters.

Bookings:  Belabed.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Colgan, Collins (Hartley 37), Smith, McIntosh, Hughes, Sauzee, Lovell, McGinlay, Latapy, Paatelainen (Lehmann 72), Miller Unused Subs: Dennis
Attendance: 22,632
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow
Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride