Scottish Cup - Semi-Finals
Hibernian0Falkirk1

Hibernian 0-1 Falkirk

Falkirk withstood Hibernian's attacking pressure to land a winning goal against the run of play and secure a place in the Scottish Cup final.

The winner was fittingly crafted by their best performers, as Craig Sibbald headed in Blair Alston's cross.

Scott Allan excelled for Hibs and hit the crossbar in the second half.

Fraser Fyvie had struck the post before then and other chances were scorned, while Falkirk decisively took the one that came their way.

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Interview - Falkirk manager Peter Houston

Peter Houston's side will return to Hampden on 30 May to face the winner of Sunday's semi-final between Inverness Caledonian and Celtic.

The intent of Hibs was immediately apparent, as Jason Cummings gathered possession just inside the Falkirk half, nutmegging an opponent, and surged into the area but then delivered the cut-back behind his strike partner Farid El Alagui.

The attack was sharp and assertive, and the entire moment turned out to be emblematic of the game itself.

Falkirk were lively in spells during the first half, mostly when Sibbald or Alston were in possession, but Hibs grew into dominance.

But good fortune seemed to take allegiance with Falkirk. When Dylan McGeouch delivered a cross, Falkirk defender David McCracken stretched to meet it ahead of El Alagui and sent the ball spinning towards his own goal, and Jamie MacDonald had to react quickly to block it. The rebound bounced off the grounded El Alagui, and MacDonald instinctively reacted to stop the ball again.

Falkirk will be bidding for a third Scottish Cup success
Falkirk will be bidding for a third Scottish Cup success, having last won the trophy in 1957

McGeouch shot wide, El Alagui skewed an effort into the side netting and, just before the break, Fyvie struck the ball from distance only for MacDonald to touch it on to the post and then gratefully retrieve the rebound.

Will Vaulks was often required to break up play in a defensive midfield role, but the Bairns player was emboldened enough to try a strike from 25 yards, which was deflected wide.

But with Taylor Morgan unable to muscle his way into prominence up front, Falkirk became more defensive.

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Interview - Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs

That theme continued after the interval, not least because Allan became ever more prominent. The midfielder was outstanding at times, carrying the ball past opponents and delivering deft, incisive passes.

Not all of his team-mates were so composed, though. McGeouch mis-hit a shot inside the area, then clipped the ball across goal only for Lewis Stevenson to lash a volley over.

Allan then jinked and surged past three Falkirk players before hitting the crossbar with a shot from inside the area.

When Stevenson, again, failed to hit the target with an effort, Hibs may have started to feel that the day was not going to be theirs.

And that was confirmed when Falkirk launched their first counter-attack of the second half, ending with Alston delivering an excellent cross and Sibbald muscling ahead of McGeouch to nod past Oxley.

As Hibs grew in anxiety, Falkirk looked more comfortable with their lead, although MacDonald did have to block El Alagui from close range.

Falkirk held out, though, and grasped their moment of glory.

Farid El Alagui and Jamie MacDonald
Bairns keeper MacDonald made a double save to prevent an own goal by David McCracken then deny El Alagui
Hibernian player Lewis Stevenson
Hibs continued to pass up opportunities in the second half
Falkirk players celebrating
Sibbald converted Alston's cross to put the Bairns ahead
Farid El Alagui and Jamie MacDonald
Hibs could not recover in the final quarter-hour
Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald
The full-time whistle signalled celebrations for MacDonald and his team-mates

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 1Oxley
  • 6ForsterBooked at 17mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 5Fontaine
  • 23McGeouch
  • 20AllanBooked at 71mins
  • 8RobertsonSubstituted forDja Djedjeat 80'minutes
  • 22Fyvie
  • 16Stevenson
  • 9El Alagui
  • 35CummingsSubstituted forMalongaat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Craig
  • 11Stanton
  • 19Handling
  • 24Malonga
  • 29Dja Djedje
  • 30Cerny
  • 32Dunsmore

Falkirk

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2Duffie
  • 5McCracken
  • 14Grant
  • 19Leahy
  • 7TaiwoBooked at 67mins
  • 6Vaulks
  • 10Sibbald
  • 9SmithSubstituted forBia Biat 45'minutes
  • 36MorganSubstituted forMuirheadat 77'minutes
  • 8Alston

Substitutes

  • 3Muirhead
  • 12Bowman
  • 15Dick
  • 20Cooper
  • 22Blair
  • 28Bia Bi
  • 30O'Hara
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
21,227

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home13
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 0, Falkirk 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Falkirk 1.

  3. Post update

    Dylan McGeouch (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Botti Bia Bi (Falkirk).

  5. Post update

    Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Will Vaulks (Falkirk).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Franck Dja Djedje (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Dominique Malonga replaces Jason Cummings.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian).

  12. Post update

    Tom Taiwo (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Franck Dja Djedje replaces Scott Robertson.

  14. Post update

    Scott Robertson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Botti Bia Bi (Falkirk).

  16. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Hibernian).

  17. Post update

    David McCracken (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Aaron Muirhead replaces Taylor Morgan.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 0, Falkirk 1. Craig Sibbald (Falkirk) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Blair Alston.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) header from very close range is too high.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 18th April 2015

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