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Bojan Miovski fires 10-man Aberdeen into the Viaplay Cup final with 1-0 win against Hibs at Hampden

Aberdeen book a slot in the Viaplay Cup final at Hampden on December 17 after edging the semi-final despite being reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Jack MacKenzie

Bojan Miovski celebrates on his knees after making it 1-0 Aberdeen during a Viaplay Cup semi-final against Hibs.
Bojan Miovski celebrates making it 1-0 Aberdeen during a Viaplay Cup semi-final against Hibs. Image: SNS.

Aberdeen booked a Viaplay Cup final slot with a dramatic 1-0 defeat of Hibs at Hampden with Bojan Miovski underlining yet again that he is one of the hottest strikers in Scotland.

The Dons faced an uphill task when Jack MacKenzie was sent off after receiving a second booking for a petulant push on Lewis Miller in the 75th minute.

Rather than be rocked by that setback Aberdeen were ignited and grabbed a sensational lead through Miovski only three minutes later.

North Macedonian international Miovski has now scored 10 goals already this season in all competitions.

Miovski is a big game player and his superb finish booked a cup final slot at Hampden on December 17.

Hibs looked to have grabbed the lead in the second half through Martin Boyle but the goal was chalked off for offside following a VAR review.

The last time Aberdeen won this tournament, or any silverware, was when boss Barry Robson was a player in the League Cup winning team in 2014.

Now Robson is just one win away from lifting the trophy with Aberdeen as a manager and player.

Bojan Miovski scores to make it 1-0 Aberdeen during a Viaplay Cup semi-final with Hibs. Image: SNS

When the Dons last won the League Cup nine years ago it was in the first full-season of a manager who had taken over in the previous campaign – Derek McInnes.

It was the catalyst for a period of relative success with cup finals and regular European qualification – but no more trophies.

Robson is also in his first full season as Aberdeen manager, having taken over during the previous campaign.

The similarities are clear.

The hope amongst the Red Army is that lightning can strike twice with a boss delivering silverware in his debut campaign.

The Dons are just one win away from that target.

Hibernian’s Dylan Vente can’t believe he’s missed a chance against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Robson sticks with 5-4-1 formation

There was one change to the Aberdeen starting line-up that defeated Motherwell 4-2 at Fir Park on Wednesday.

Connor Barron returned to the starting fold with Dante Polvara dropping to the bench.

Aberdeen retained the 5-4-1 formation that had proven so effective against the Steelmen.

Hibs created the first opportunity in the eighth minute when breaking on a swift counter attack as a Dons offensive move broke down.

Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie and Lewis Miller in action at Hampden. Image; SNS

Martin Boyle picked out Elie Youan on the right who burst down the flank before crossing to Boyle in the box.

It would have found Boyle unmarked but Connor Barron made a lung-bursting run back to brilliantly intercept 15 yards out and fire over for a corner.

Moments later Youan wasted a clear chance when blazing over the bar from 10 yards.

Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie during the Viaplay Cup semi-final against Hibs. Image; SNS

Hibs continued to look more threatening in attack but Joe Newell’s low 15-yard drive in the 35th minute was comfortably collected by keeper Kelle Roos.

Hibs goal chalked off for offside

The semi-final exploded into life in the 48th minute when a long ball by Will Fish hoisted from deep in his own half picked out Boyle’s run.

Boyle burst between the back-line and left Slobodan Rubezic trailing as he brilliantly controlled the ball on his right foot on the run before slamming a clinical shot beyond keeper Roos.

Hibernian’s Martin Boyle celebrates after scoring before his goal is ruled out for offside by VAR in the Viaplay semi-final against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Hibs’ celebrations were cut short when the goal went to a VAR review.

After more then four minutes a decision was made that the goal would not stand due to offside.

It was extremely tight. Boyle looked onside but the lines drawn by VAR dictated otherwise.

Referee John Beaton checks with VAR before disallowing Martin Boyle’s goal for offside against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Hibs again threatened in the 64th minute when Youan’s cross from the right found Dylan Vente 12 yards out.

His first time shot was goal-bound until Devlin scrambled it clear.

In the 70th minute Jamie McGrath’s tame shot was easily collected.

It was Aberdeen’s first shot on target in a game of immense importance.

Aberdeen go a man down – and score

The Dons were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when MacKenzie retaliated after Lewis Miller pushed the wing-back.

MacKenzie, who had already been booked, shoved Miller over – and referee John Beaton raised a second yellow.

It was a moment of madness from the wing-back.

It was an agonising sense of deja-vu for the Dons as they were reduced to 10 men in the League Cup semi-final last season when Anthony Stewart was red carded against Rangers for a reckless challenge.

Aberdeen were damaged by Stewart’s red card last season and lost 2-1 after extra-time.

Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie is shown a red card by Referee John Beaton. Image: SNS

This time the Reds reacted positively to going a man down and sensationally went ahead just three minutes later.

Shinnie won possession in the Dons half and pushed forward before the ball broke to substitute Dante Polvara.

Midfielder Polvara continued the counter attack by sliding a pass to Miovski who powered upfield and into the box.

Miovski then drilled a clinical left-footed strike beyond David Marshall to send the 13,000 strong travelling Red Army into raptures.

Aberdeen had a penalty claim shrugged off by referee Beaton in the 83rd minute when Miovski went down after a push in the box by Fish.

There was contact and it should have been a spot-kick. Referee Beaton compounded his wrong call by booking Miovski for diving.

ABERDEEN (5-4-1): Roos 7; Devlin 7, Gartenmann 7, Rubezic 6, Jensen 6, MacKenzie 5; Barron 6 (Polvara 66), Shinnie 6, Clarkson 6, McGrath 7; Miovski 7 (Sokler 90).

Subs not used: Doohan, Duk, Gueye, Hayes, Duncan, MacDonald, Milne.

HIBS (4-4-2): Marshall 6; Miller 6 (Whittaker 81), Fish 7, Bushiri 7, Obita 6; Tavares 6 (Doidge 81), Levitt 6, Newell 6, Youan 7; Boyle 7 (Campbell 87), Vente 6 (Landers 87).

Subs not used: Wollacott, Hanlon, Stevenson, Delferriere, Molotnikov.

Referee: John Beaton

Man-of-the-match: Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen)