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Hoban – Dons didn’t cause enough problems in Hampden defeat

Tommie Hoban, right, competes with Celtic's Nir Bitton for a header in the 2019/20 Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Tommie Hoban, right, competes with Celtic's Nir Bitton for a header in the 2019/20 Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Tommie Hoban felt Aberdeen did not trouble Celtic enough as the Dons tasted a fifth Hampden defeat in four years to the Hoops.

Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain was relatively quiet at the national stadium, as goals from Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi ensured Neil Lennon’s side booked a Scottish Cup final berth against Hearts.

It is the fifth time since 2016 the Dons have been beaten by Celtic at Hampden – in three finals and two semi-finals – as the Glasgow giants prove impossible to shift in contention for silverware.

Hoban said: “I think that was the case. We had a few half-opportunities where we should have worked the goalkeeper a bit more.

“Celtic took their chances and that was the difference. I thought in the second half we got at them but we just couldn’t get the goal that we needed.

“They have the quality and if you give them a chance then you know they are likely to take it.  The good thing is that we are going to have other opportunities this year and it is up to us to take them.

“We came into the game looking to win and we felt we could beat them especially after last weekend because there was nothing in that game. It was very frustrating because we left ourselves with two much to do.

“We did quite well in the second half but we couldn’t get the goal to get ourselves back in the game. It is disappointing but we still have a lot to play for. We just need to dust ourselves down and go again for a big game on Friday.”

The game did mark the return for Sam Cosgrove, who started his first game in seven months, while Matty Kennedy also came back into the line-up after a period out.

Aberdeen were without Jonny Hayes for the Hampden fixture

They were without Jonny Hayes, however, who suffered a fall in training on Saturday and will be assessed. Marley Watkins also limped off in the second half after a collision with Scott Brown, in which he suffered a cut to his face and a hamstring injury.

The Dons can ill-afford any time to dwell on the defeat yesterday, with Hibernian visiting Pittodrie on Friday night on league business.

Hoban added: “We have made a good start and now we have a massive game on Friday against Hibs. We have to take some positives and I think there were a few, especially in the second half.

“We just have to keep that belief that we have shown this season we can create a few more chances and get a good result to take into the international break.”

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