Aberdeen suffered penalty shoot-out heartache as they were knocked out of the Betfred Cup by Hearts at Tynecastle.
A thrilling game ended 2-2 in the capital before the Dons missed all three of their penalties while a clinical Jambos side scored all of their spot kicks to secure a semi-final date against Rangers at Hampden.
The Dons had led twice, both goals coming from the penalty spot, after an engrossing opening 45 minutes.
Sam Cosgrove got them both, his first coming after Christophe Berra had hauled Ryan Hedges to the ground in the box
Hearts had already struck the crossbar inside the opening minute through Uche Ikpeazu before Cosgrove’s opener in the 11th minute but the home side were level midway through the first half when former Don Steven MacLean took advantage of a mistake from Mikey Devlin to fire past Joe Lewis.
In a thriller of a cup tie the Dons regained the lead just after the half hour with Cosgrove getting his second of the game from the spot after James Wilson had been tripped by Loic Damour of Hearts.
The second half did not live up to the thrilling opening 45 minutes but it was every bit as engrossing as the Dons repelled all the home side could throw their way and they could have added to their lead with Cosgrove going close to a hat-trick while defender Greg Leigh also had a shot flash just wide.
It looked like Cosgrove’s first half double would be enough to send the Dons into the last four of the competition but Hearts defender Craig Halkett had the final say as he beat Lewis with a header in the second minute of injury time to take the tie to extra-time.
Niall McGinn hit the post in extra-time for Aberdeen but that was as close as it got to a winner for either side as the tie was decided in the shoot-out.
Cosgrove and McGinn fired over the bar while Bruce Anderson’s spot kick was saved for the Dons.
Glenn Whelan, Michael Smith and Aidan Keena all scored their efforts to knock the Dons out of the cup.