Aberdeen 1 Celtic 1: Strachan happy with second chance

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The Independent Online

Gordon Strachan maintains that a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Aberdeen was the only fair conclusion to their meeting with the Dons after Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser at Pittodrie.

A pulsating match which saw chances and good goalkeeping at either end looked to be heading for a goalless draw until the 79th minute when the Dons midfielder Jeffrey de Visscher drove a low shot past Artur Boruc.

Dons were looking forward to a semi-final against Queen of the South next month until the second minute of injury time, when Vennegoor of Hesselink threw himself at a cross from the substitute Georgios Samaras to force the ball over the line.

Strachan said: "I thought the draw was a fair result. We hit the post three times, both goalies were excellent. I think both teams deserve another shot at it for the hard work they put in."

His Aberdeen counterpart Jimmy Calderwood was left feeling as if his side had been knocked out, but insisted that they still have a chance in the replay.

"It feels like a defeat at this moment," he said. "We started well, we kept Aiden McGeady and Shunsuke Nakamura quiet and I think we deserved to be ahead at half-time. In fact, the game could have ended up 5-5 but thanks to the quality of the goalkeepers it didn't."

Goals: De Visscher (79) 1-0; Vennegoor of Hesselink (90) 1-1.

Aberdeen: Soutar, Maybury, Considine, Diamond, Foster, De Visscher, Severin, Touzani, J Smith (Aluko 31), Miller, Maguire. Substitutes not used: Langfield, Mair, Bus, Walker.

Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, O'Dea, Nakamura, Hartley, Sno (Donati 77), McGeady, McDonald (Samaras 72), Vennegoor of Hesselink. Substitutes not used: M Brown, Pressley, Riordan.

Referee: C Richmond.

Booked: Celtic McManus.

Man of the match: Soutar.

Attendance: 10,909.

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