Scottish Cup final: Hearts 1-2 Celtic. Jambos denied by Odsonne Edouard double

Ryan Edwards' first Hearts goal was overhauled by Odsonne Edouard's double as Celtic won the Scottish Cup and an unprecedented Treble Treble.

Saturday, 25th May 2019, 4:59 pm
Hearts teenager Aaron Hickey with Celtic defender Mikael Lustig at Hampden

The Australian midfielder opened the scoring at Hampden Park in only his fifth appearance, but Edouard's penalty and calmly-converted second earned the Glasgow club victory.

Hearts deserved credit for a brave performance which caused Celtic various problems throughout the afternoon. A flat first 45 minutes gave way to frenetic second half on a drizzling afternoon in Mount Florida.

Edwards scored first on 52 minutes, Edouard was pulled down by Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal and scored the resultant penalty ten minutes later. The Frenchman then secured the trophy with a cool finish one on one with Zlamal.

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The inclusion of 16-year-old Aaron Hickey was the biggest pre-match surprise. That he made only his third Hearts appearance in a national cup final underlined manager Craig Levein's faith in a player who was still at school this time 12 months ago. Arnaud Djoum made it despite being an injury doubt. Peter Haring started but Uche Ikpeazu only made the bench.

Celtic's matchday squad included an even younger member. Karamoko Dembele, eight months younger than Hickey, was one of Neil Lennon's substitutes. Kieran Tierney's lack of fitness precluded him and that meant Jonny Hayes starting as an attack-minded left-back.

The first 15 minutes saw both teams try to get at the other. Hickey produced the afternoon's first shot of the afternoon with a low attempt from 25 yards which Scott Bain collected comfortably. Hearts were pressing Celtic aggressively and forcing mistakes but remained susceptible to a counter-attack.

That arrived on 21 minutes when Callum McGregor fed Tom Rogic, who carried the ball forward to slide a pass to Edouard. John Souttar's timely sliding tackle thwarted the French forward's shot at goal. Berra then made a crucial clearance ahead of Edouard as McGregor's left-sided cross arrived six yards out.

There were more than 20,000 Hearts supporters inside the National Stadium. Many of them rose on 39 minutes to applaud in honour of fellow fan Alex Currie, who recently died aged 39 while watching his son play football.

This final had yet to come to life as the interval arrived with the scoreline blank. Levein would have been content with his team's first half performance, while Lennon was more than likely unsatisfied with his players' lack of creativity.

He would have been completely outraged seven minutes into the second half when Hearts moved in front. Djoum's deflected shot landed at the feet of Sean Clare, who eventually managed to flick it behind him. Edwards was waiting to pounce and slide his finish into the net beyond Scott Bain from around seven yards.

Hampden's west side erupted in delirium. However, the advantage lasted merely ten minutes. When Edouard collected a through ball inside the Hearts penalty box, he was impeded by Zlamal's sliding challenge and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot. Edouard picked himself up and planted the spot-kick into the net to the goalkeeper's right.

Celtic now had the momentum as they pursued a second goal. Those in maroon seemed slightly shaken for a few moments but regained their composure quickly. This was now a wide-open affair with either side looking capable of winning.

It was Celtic who seized the opportunity when it arrived. A long ball into their half was returned by Mikael Lustig's header. Edouard's movement saw him sprint in behind Souttar and Christophe Berra undetected. He was now one-one-one with Zlamal and clipped a tidy finish over the advancing goalkeeper.

That was sufficient to win the game, the trophy and the Treble Treble for Celtic. Hearts had put up a brave and commendable effort and left the pitch with chants of "we'll support you evermore" from their fans.

Celtic (4-2-3-1): Bain; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer, Hayes (Bitton 89); Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Rogic (Ntcham 70), Johnston (Sinclair 72); Edouard. Unused subs: De Vries, Toljan, Benkovic, Dembele.

Hearts (4-3-3): Zlamal; M Smith, Souttar, Berra, Hickey; Edwards, Haring (Bozanic 80), Djoum; Clare (Wighton 75), MacLean (Ikpeazu 78), Mulraney. Unused subs: Doyle, Shaughnessy, Cochrane, Burns.

Referee: Willie Collum.