Aberdeen went into the game against Hibs at Easter Road needing a win to have any chance of securing an automatic UEFA Europa League qualifier spot and third in the Scottish Premiership.
It was matters elsewhere that decided our fate in that regards, but despite all the injury challenges we had this season, ending the season on a high was a fitting end to those that will be leaving the club, including captain Graeme Shinnie.
Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which beat Hearts 2-1 at Pittodrie last time out.
Joe Lewis was dropped due to the knee injury he sustained during the match against Hearts with Tomáš Černý coming in to make his second appearance this season.
Greg Stewart was dropped in favour of Connor McLennan.
Aberdeen made a bright start, and in fairness it was an end-to-end match for most of the first half.
It was Hibs that made the breakthrough in the 26th minute after McNulty made a low finish past Černý with his right foot.
Not long after that, Hibs nearly put in a second after Daryl Horgan found Murray but his shot went wide.
Lewis Ferguson nearly had a chance with 10 minutes to go in the first half from a long range free kick, but it was held by Marciano.
Hibs had another chance just after, with McNulty missing a chance to double Hibs’ lead. Stephane Omeonga cross from the left for McNulty who was unchallenged at the back post. He tried to knock the ball across for Horgan but the Dons cleared the shot.
Just before half time, it was the Dons that got the desperately needed equaliser. Connor McLennan broke down the left, his low cut back found Sam Cosgrove and he hit the ball from six yards to score a remarkable 21 goals for the season.
The second half started briskly. Hibs had the first clear chance in the 56th minute after a Horgan cross from the right found Murray, but he headed straight at Černý.
Aberdeen took the lead in the 63rd minute in a brilliant build up. Connor McLennan found Cosgrove on the left of the box, he put the ball beyond Darren McGregor for Stevie May, may put it across to James Wilson who tapped the ball home into goal.
That was a crucial goal, and matters elsewhere also looked to put as on the front-foot to secure our third placed spot.
Gary Mackay-Steven made a return in the 77th minute replacing Connor McLennnan.
And we nearly had a third in stoppage time when Mackay-Steven was tripped by McGregor – the penalty was awarded by ref Anderson, but Sam Cosgrove’s spot-kick went straight down the middle and the shot was saved by Marciano.
With three minutes left at Rugby Park, Brophy converted a penalty to put Kilmarnock back in front meaning they finished the season third and secured the automatic Europa qualifier spot.
A cruel blow for the Dons who have to make do with fourth and look to Celtic for a win against Hearts next Saturday to have any chance of Europe next season.
|19th May 2019||3:00 pm||Scottish Premiership||2018-19||90'||18,631|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Possession||Outcome|