The road to Hampden has been unprecedentedly long for William Hill Scottish Cup finalists Hearts and Celtic.
More than 16 months after the competition kicked off, and almost 12 months after the finalists began their campaign, the delayed showpiece will take place at Hampden on Sunday.
Here the PA news agency looks at how Hearts reached the final.
Fourth round: Hearts 5-0 Airdrie (January 18)
⏪ @JamTarts kicked-off their @WilliamHill Scottish Cup campaign with a 5-0 victory over Airdrieonians – a match that included the Goal of the Fourth Round from Sean Clare.#ScottishCuppic.twitter.com/Lk0cqmjVVf— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) October 26, 2020
Daniel Stendel enjoyed his first win as Hearts boss as the team ended a nine-game run without a victory. Andy Irving, Sean Clare, Steven Naismith, Euan Henderson and Craig Halkett all got on the scoresheet against the League One club. Stendel said: “It’s a good feeling to get my first win, it’s a good start to 2020 and I hope it can give us a lift for the next games.”
Fifth round: Falkirk 0-1 Hearts (February 8)
⏪ It was rainy and windy encounter at the Falkirk Stadium in the Fifth Round, with Sean Clare's penalty the difference for the Jambos.#ScottishCuppic.twitter.com/VhjjW50ZqX— William Hill Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) October 26, 2020
Falkirk hit the frame of the goal three times but Hearts progressed amid the difficulties posed by Storm Ciara thanks to Clare’s second-half penalty. Stendel said: “In some situations we had some luck but we have not had it in the last games. Today, it was on our side.”
Quarter-final: Hearts 1-0 Rangers (February 29)
Hearts went into the game with only one win from their previous 15 Premiership games, but that had come against Rangers, and they repeated the feat thanks to an Oliver Bozanic goal. Stendel, who only had three more games as manager, said: “That was a good example of what we can achieve as a team. It gives me hope we can win the biggest competition of the season.”
Semi-final: Hearts 2-1 Hibernian (October 31)
Hearts went into the last four as a Championship team following their controversial relegation and had only played five games of their season, winning all of them, before prevailing in an entertaining Edinburgh derby. Craig Wighton headed Hearts ahead at Hampden before Christian Doidge levelled, and Liam Boyce’s penalty won it in extra-time. It was an emotional occasion for Hearts following the news of the death of Marius Zaliukas, who skippered them to the 2012 Scottish Cup. Goalkeeper Craig Gordon said: “Hopefully this result can pay respects to him because he was a fantastic player, and when Hearts won the cup last time he was here, so it is a sad day.”
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