Kilmarnock 0-0 Hibernian: Hibs win 5-4 on pens
Kilmarnock bowed out of the Betfred Cup this evening after being edged out by Hibs 5-4 in the penalty shoot-out.
A dour game of football gave way to extra-time, with Joe Newell’s effort from the spot sealing the win for the visitors after Niko Hamalainen and Stephen O’Donnell had failed to convert from 12 yards.
The first-half was eerily reminiscent of the first-half against Hibs in the league meeting a fortnight ago.
Plenty of movement on the ball, but a toothless attack at both ends proved to be a killing blow to the hopes of any first-half goals.
And as Willie Collum’s whistle brought proceedings to a close, fans could only hope that the second-half would offer up something a bit more exciting.
The second-half begun as Harvey St. Clair briefly troubled Chris Maxwell in the Hibs goal with an effort from wide left, whilst Chris Burke entered the book for a challenge on Josh Vela in a mostly forgettable spell.
A phenomenal turn of pace from substitute Liam Millar saw the Canada international crash into the box ten minutes from time before being brought down by the Hibs defence – nothing but a shake of the head from Collum was given.
There was to be no further action as proceedings came to a close: it was going to extra-time.
Almost straight from kick-off, Dom Thomas flew down the right like a man possessed – his resulting pop at goal battered the crossbar as the Killie support howled for more.
Hearts leapt into mouths at a Killie corner: Del Fabro turned and got a touch on the ball in the area but couldn’t blast it beyond Maxwell.
Tempers flared after Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horrible tackle on Liam Millar: cutting down the flying winger with a cynical kick to snuff out a promising attack. The resulting free-kick was headed just wide of goal by Stephen O’Donnell.
Still no goals: this was a game that was going the distance as Willie Collum signalled for penalties to decide a winner.
Scott Allan struck first for Hibs, before Osman Sow equalised. Branescu saved the next Hibs penalty from Oli Shaw.
Dom Thomas then followed up to make it 2-1, with Mallan equalising to take it to 2-2.
Liam Millar was cool as a cucumber to roll it past Maxwell to make it 3-2. Branescu stretched well, but couldn’t stop Hanlon from scoring the next.
Killie had a miss of their own at 3-3, Stephen O’Donnell turning the ball off the post. Tom James followed up to make it 3-4.
McKenzie kept it alive, scoring to make it 4-4: Joe Newell kept it going for Hibs at 5-4.
Niko Hamalainen couldn’t convert the next penalty, and Hibs secured the win.
Kilmarnock: Branescu, O’Donnell, Del Fabro, Findlay, Hamalainen, Power, Dicker, El Makrini (Thomas, 93′), St. Clair (Millar, 63′), Brophy (Sow, 88′), Burke (McKenzie, 86′)
Subs not used: Koprivec, Bruce & Hendrie