Football: Celtic denied as Jackson steps up with late penalty

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The Independent Online
Hibernian 1 Celtic 1

And so to Celtic Park. These two sides will have another chance to play for the right to face Rangers in the Tennents Scottish Cup quarter- finals and it is perhaps just as well that Cup tie football is all about results because the football on show last night was not pretty.

It was never going to be a game for the purists given the high stakes, but a draw was a fair result with both sides rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in.

Celtic struck first, Phil O'Donnell opening the scoring in the 16th minute after slipping a tackle and rifling a low shot into the net.

On a wild night the ball refused to settle for either side, although Celtic continued to create chances before the interval. Andreas Thom worked a shooting chance for himself before blasting his shot over the bar and Jim Leighton saved a Paolo Di Canio shot with his legs.

Playing down the famous Easter Road slope, Hibs began the second half with renewed vigour. Brian Grant saw his shot blocked and Darren Jackson shot narrowly over. The turning point for the home side was a magnificent save by Leighton when he arched himself to push over a powerful Di Canio effort in the 74th minute. Within 10 minutes Hibs were level.

Darren Jackson, who was fouled inside the area by Malcolm MacKay, took the kick and sent Stewart Kerr the wrong way to earn his side a draw.

Twice Hibs came close before the end and twice Kerr was equal to their efforts. But despite their frantic final assault the home side were unable to make a further breakthrough with both sets of players in the end reasonably happy to have a second chance.

Celtic will be able to call on Jorge Cadete, their Portuguese striker who was missing last night because of international duty. His influence was missed as Celtic struggled at times to produce the pace and mobility required to break down a sturdy Hibs defence in which Shaun Dennis excelled.

Hibernian (4-4-2): Leighton; Renwick, Hunter, Dennis, McQuilken; Grant, C Jackson (Miller, 78), Charnley, Elliot (Wright, 68); Harper, D Jackson. Substitute not used: Cameron.

Celtic (4-4-2): Kerr; Boyd, Stubbs, MacKay, McKinlay; Hannah, McStay, O'Donnell, Thom (Hay, 68); Van Hooijdonk, Di Canio. Substitutes not used: McLaughlin, Grant.

Referee: W S G Young (Clarkston).

Ian Ferguson will meet the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, today in a meeting to discuss his international future. Ferguson is in the firing line after a foul-mouthed outburst after the goalless draw with Estonia in Monaco last Tuesday. It is alleged that Ferguson's attack was aimed at the travelling Tartan Army although his agent claims it was directed at the Estonian players.

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