Hibs found themselves a new hero in goalkeeper Conrad Logan as they booked their place in the final of the Scottish Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Dundee United.
The Irishman saved United’s first two efforts from the spot – by Blair Spittal and Billy McKay – while John McGinn, Paul Hanlon, Martin Boyle and Jason Cummings all netted for the Hibees.
Logan was thrown in for his first match with Mark Oxley suspended and totally vindicated boss Alan Stubbs’ decision to put him in ahead of Otso Virtanen with a string of superb saves. Despite their recent troubles, Hibs looked eager from the start, pinning relegated United back inside their own half with Fraser Fyvie coming close to game’s opening goal with a long-range effort which dipped just inches over the target.
It was United, however, who went closest to scoring in that opening 25 minutes, McKay outmuscling Hanlon to reach Chris Erskine’s flick, leaving him with only Logan to beat but the goalkeeper brought off a terrific save, blocking his shot with his legs.
Hibs, though, should have taken the lead in the 28th minute when Donaldson’s right arm blocked Fyvie’s cross, referee John Beaton pointing immediately to the penalty spot.
But Cummings was over confident, attempting to fool Kawashima with a chip down the middle of the goal only to send it high over the bar.
Little had been seen of United in an attacking sense but a mix-up between Hanlon and Logan as to who should take responsibility for the ball allowing McKay to nick in only for the goalkeeper to spread himself well and block.
There was little doubt, however, that Cummings’ miss had given United a bit of a lift, Erskine firing in a first-time shot only to find Logan again more than equal to the task. And then it took a goalline clearance from Hanlon to keep Hibs on level terms, Erskine’s knockdown falling for Ryan Dow. His shot was blocked by Darren McGregor, the ball spiralling up in the air and goalwards until Hanlon headed away.
Logan again did well for Hibs, throwing himself full length to his left to touch away John Rankin’s shot as United began to gain the upper hand with many too many passes from those in green and white going astray.
The Tannadice outfit looked to have more energy as Hibs seemed to be running out of steam. Henri Anier, who had spent the first half of the season on loan at Easter Road, had the chance to win it for United but, again Logan was unbeatable.
With 120 minutes unable to separate the sides the tie then went on to be settled in that dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Hibs: Logan, Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Bartley, Fyvie, McGinn, Henderson, Cummings, Stokes.