BOJAN MIOVSKI hit a stunning winner as 10-man Aberdeen performed a Hampden smash and grab on Hibernian to reach the Viaplay Cup Final.

Aberdeen full-back Jack MacKenzie was ordered off for a quite stupid second bookable offence with 15 minutes to play at the national stadium, but it was the Dons who made the breakthrough with a brilliant counter-attacking goal to book their place back here on December 17th.

Here are the talking points from Hampden…


For the vast majority of this game, it seemed a matter of time before Hibs would eventually pick Aberdeen off with their pacey attack. But having soaked up pressure and then gone down to 10 men, the Dons stunned the Hibees by staging their own explosive counter to take the lead.

Graeme Shinnie picked up the scraps after a slack Elie Youan pass on the edge of the Aberdeen area. He steamed forward and fed the ball to Jamie McGrath, who in turn timed his pass perfectly for Miovski to charge in on David Marshall.

The striker kept his cool, drew the keeper out, and produced a lovely finish across goal and into the bottom corner.

Was it deserved? Over the piece, probably not. But neither Miovski nor the travelling Red Army will care a single jot. And they deserve great credit not only for the construction of the winner, but for their resilience and mentality.


As well as their profligacy at one end, Hibs’ efforts were undermined by the poor defending that has become a trademark, piling bodies forward in pursuit of a winner after MacKenzie’s red card but instead being caught out themselves.

It was as evenly matched a first half as was expected prior to the game, but Hibs definitely posed the greater threat, particularly on the counter through the pace of Martin Boyle and Youan.

The pair combined well as they sprung from an Aberdeen corner, Boyle feeding Youan out wide and the winger subsequently putting a teasing ball into the area back towards his galloping teammate. Only an excellent intervention from Connor Barron prevented him from having a tap in.

Youan should have done better mind you when teed up by Jair Tavares in the area, blazing well over from 12 yards.

Hibs started to pile on the pressure after the break, and only the intervention of VAR and a great last-ditch block from Nicky Devlin after Youan had done well to tee up Dylan Vente prevented them from getting the goal they deserved on the balance of play.

But they would not get their reward, and their naivety at the other end would ultimately cost them.


It was another busy day for those jolly old boys back at Clydesdale House. They were called into action here as a long ball over the top from Hibs centre-back Will Fish was left by the Aberdeen defence, and Boyle showed brilliant composure to control and finish low past Kelle Roos.

After a long, long delay as the VAR team drew their lines, it was eventually disallowed for the most marginal of offsides. The correct decision may well have been reached in the end, but the application of VAR continues to be a dog’s dinner.

Leaving aside the question of whether Boyle’s big toe had crept the wrong side of the line, the seemingly interminable wait for a call to be made was the real issue, with both sets of fans left to wait for several minutes while the players stood around in a freezing Hampden.

The VAR officials were though very quick to dismiss a penalty shout for Hibs moments later when Roos tried to prevent a corner, but spilled the ball to invite a challenge from Vente.

The Hibs forward poked the ball away from the keeper and hit the deck, but on-field referee John Beaton adjudged the Hibs forward to have initiated the contact, and the VAR room quickly concurred.


There are times when the intelligence of footballers is called rather unfairly into question. Then there are other times, such as when Aberdeen full-back MacKenzie got himself ordered off here, when you realise why that cliché exists in the first place.

Having been booked for a daft pull on Lewis Miller on 61 minutes, he can’t have forgotten he was on a booking just 15 minutes later, but it appeared he had done so. Having lost out in a tussle with Miller, he inexplicably ran after his opponent and shoved him to the ground off the ball.

It was bonkers, and his reaction as he trudged down the tunnel told you it had quickly dawned on him that he had let his teammates down.

Luckily for him, they managed to dig their way out of the hole he had left them in.


It may be a little harsh to pick on the big man after a win and a clean sheet, but while it is a footnote to this match, he still has a lot to learn. To say he is lacking a little in finesse may be under-egging it somewhat.

The defender is physically impressive, and in fairness to him, is a serviceable enough centre-back when he keeps things simple.

Unfortunately, when he engages his brain a little and steps out of his comfort zone, it can lead to danger, usually for his own side.

His unorthodox approach even saw him commit a foul by tripping a Hibs player with his head in the first half. Quite the achievement, when you think about it.

He showed his very mixed bag of tricks in a short spell soon after, heading away brilliantly from a dangerous in-swinging corner, before swinging wildly at the ball as he attempted a pass, skewing it off his shin guard and picking out Hibs keeper Marshall instead of a teammate.

Most worrying of all though are his lapses in concentration. He was dug out of a hole by VAR when he inexplicably allowed a 60-yard lump up the pitch from Will Fish to carry through to Boyle for the goal that was ruled out.

He will have to sharpen up if the Dons are to go on and lift the trophy.