Falkirk lifted by reaching final

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The Independent Online

Falkirk secured European football for the first time in the club's history yesterday with victory in the Scottish Cup semi-final and their manager John Hughes hopes it will aid their fight to retain Scottish Premier League status.

Goals from Thomas Scobbie and Scott Arfield secured a 2-0 win over Dunfermline to book a meeting against Rangers in the final on 30 May. However, testing times lie ahead for a club battling for survival in the top flight, with the added pressure of some fans calling for the manager to be sacked.

"Hopefully this will give us the springboard," Hughes said. "It provides real motivation to be fighting for a place in the starting 11 come final day. As for the supporters here, that was real Falkirk supporters who were right behind the team."

Falkirk's Arnau Riera will miss the final after being booked for diving. Asked whether he thought the midfielder took a dive, Hughes admitted: "Possibly he did. It's very disappointing. He's a foreigner and he's a a real hard worker and I don't think he understands. I don't think he knows the script with the two bookings."

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