Hearts hold off 10-man Hibs to reach Scottish Cup final
April 16, 2022 09:03 PM
Hearts held off 10-man Hibernian to reach the Scottish Cup final with a 2-1 win on Saturday and secure the financial boost of guaranteed European group stage football next season.
Terrific strikes from Ellis Simms and Stephen Kingsley propelled the Jambos into a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes, before Hibs midfielder Chris Cadden immediately reduced the deficit.
In a typically feisty encounter between the Edinburgh rivals, Hibs midfielder Joe Newell was sent off 25 minutes from time for a second bookable offence.
Hearts will face either Celtic or Rangers, who face off in an Old Firm semi-final on Sunday, in the final on May 21.
Robbie Neilson's men have already secured third place in the Scottish Premiership behind the Glasgow giants with five games to spare.
And by ensuring one of the top three will also take the European place on offer to the cup winners, Hearts will be secured a playoff to reach the Europa League group stages next season.
Even if they lose that, they will drop into the Europa Conference League groups worth at least an estimated £3.5 million ($4.6 million).
"It gives us money to invest," said Neilson.
"We won't go crazy, but taking that next step allows us to transition into getting into Europe year after year and trying to grow this club."