Rangers came from behind in the most dramatic fashion to beat Celtic 2-1 after extra time at Hampden Park to set up a Scottish Cup final meeting with Hearts.
The Light Blues had made it through the first half of a vibrant semi-final, but there was little between the teams after the break until the 64th minute when Hoops’ left-back Greg Taylor fired in from the edge of the box.
Rangers substitute Scott Arfield equalized in the 78th minute with a fine finish to take the game into extra time, the second time in four days for the Light Blues.
With the match looking headed for penalties, Parkhead defender Carl Starfelt scored his own goal in the 114th minute with substitute Fashion Sakala on hand to give Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side a memorable win and also deny Celtic a chance to win. the domestic treble.
It was another memorable encounter between the two giants of Scottish football.
While Celtic had a clear week to prepare for the game, Rangers took a grueling 120 minutes to beat Braga in their Europa League quarter-final match at Ibrox on Thursday night.
However, Van Bronckhorst only made one change, bringing in Scottish Cup goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin for Allan McGregor.
Ange Postecoglou brought in Liel Abada and played Japanese international Daizen Maeda through the middle with Kyogo Furuhashi on the bench.
The national stadium was split 50-50 between blue and green and the game got off to a frantic start amid a smog of flares at both ends.
Rangers threatened first in the second minute, John Lundstram stole Hoops’ midfielder Reo Hatate and Aaron Ramsey played in Ryan Kent, who shot over the bar from 12 yards.
The Light Blues came close in the 32nd minute when Starfelt gave possession to Gers midfielder Ryan Jack.
The Celtic defender had to clear Kemar Roofe’s header from Borna Barisic’s cross away from the goal line before Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart saved Joe Aribo in the follow-up.
Lundstram then received a pass from Aribo and rattled the post for a 20-yard drive.
Ramsey was injured to be replaced by Scott Wright, who crossed for Aribo to head just wide in the last action of the first half.
Hatate hit a shot wide at the far post in the 53rd minute and Kent did the same for the Light Blues at the other end moments later.
Celtic brought in Furuhashi and Matt O’Riley for Abada and Tom Rogic just before the hour mark as Postecoglou were looking for their team to win the game, and they did.
O’Riley played a short free kick to captain Callum McGregor, passed the ball to Taylor and his shot from the edge of the box deflected off Calvin Bassey before beating McLaughlin for his first goal since August 2020.
Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers fired a shot off the crossbar as Celtic went for number two and the Rangers replaced Aribo and Jack with Arfield and Steve Davis.
Arfield, who had missed two big chances against Braga on Thursday, made a quick impact, firing a shot past Hart from inside the box after captain James Tavernier’s cross landed at his feet.
After a nervous end to the regulation 90 minutes, extra time came, with Stephen Welsh and James Forrest replacing Taylor and Maeda.
Wright put Roofe ahead, but Hart quickly tried to stifle, before Lundstram made way for Glen Kamara as the first half of extra time ended scoreless.
Leon Balogun replaced Barisic and Sakala took over from Roofe, with Hatate making way for David Turnbull, as substitutes continued to arrive.
Hart made a great save from Tavernier in the 110th minute, but moments later Bassey raced down the left and Starfelt shoved his cross into his own net under pressure from Sakala and the blue half of Hampden Park erupted.