A last-minute Craig Beattie penalty today sent Hearts into the Scottish Cup final and a meeting with Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, as they defeated holders Celtic 2-1 in dramatic fashion at Hampden. After a goalless first half, Jambos substitute Beattie set up Rudi Skacel to fire home the opener in the 47th minute.
Celtic had countless opportunities to equalise, with South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung twice hitting the post with headers before Gary Hooper nodded home an 86th minute equaliser. With extra-time looming, referee Euan Norris pointed to the spot in the 90th minute when a Marius Zaliukas shot struck Joe Ledley on the arm and Beattie stepped up to drill the ball past Fraser Forster.
League champions Celtic were denied a penalty in stoppage time when Andy Webster appeared to handle in the box, which prompted Celtic manager Neil Lennon to confront the referee at full-time. The win means Hearts will face Edinburgh rivals Hibernian in May's final - the first time the sides will have contested the Scottish Cup final since 1896.
At Hampden, Hearts were handed a chance to take the lead within 20 seconds when Kelvin Wilson's weak backpass was intercepted by Stephen Elliott but keeper Forster blocked his shot with his legs. Webster headed over the bar after finding himself unmarked in the box from Andy Driver's corner while at the other end Hooper sent an angled header wide when he looked certain to convert Mulgrew's cross.
Commons then intercepted a casual backpass from Webster but his touch was heavy as he went round Jamie MacDonald and the chance was lost. Celtic should have had the lead on the stroke of half-time when Mikael Lustig's cross found its way over to Ki Sung-Yeung at the far post but the South Korean sent his diving header crashing off the post from four yards out.
Beattie replaced Scott Robinson at the break and made an instant impact when he set up the opener with just over a minute gone. Black picked out the former Celtic forward with a pass and he knocked it into the path of Skacel who took it past Forster before slamming the ball into the roof of the net.
Celtic had a chance to instantly reply but after a good first touch Ki's sent his shot whistling over the bar. Black then played a quick free-kick to Skacel and Forster had to scramble to push his dipping swerving shot from 25 yards round the post.
Hearts came close to a second when Beattie was given space to run at the retreating Celtic defence and fizz a shot inches wide of the post. Anthony Stokes replaced Georgios Samaras and he immediately came close with a strike that went just wide before sending a header over the bar.
Elliott nearly caught Forster out with a neat chipped effort before MacDonald smothered a Stokes shot as chances fell at both ends. Celtic should have equalised in the 82nd minute when Commons found Ki unmarked at the back post with a free-kick but, in a carbon copy of his effort at the end of the first half, the South Korean hit the post with his header.
Celtic grabbed a late leveller through Hooper who headed home from close range after getting on the end of Mulgrew's cross. Hearts were awarded a 90th minute penalty in when Zaliukas' shot struck Ledley on the arm from close range and former Hoops player Beattie drilled the ball into the net to start the celebrations amongst the Hearts support.