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Caley Thistle left heartbroken at Hampden

By Will Clark

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Hearts 3

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0

Scorers: Ikpeazu (49) Souttar (66) Clare (74 pen)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle's dreams of reaching the Scottish Cup final were dashed with defeat against Hearts.

Uche Ikpeazu, John Souttar and Sean Clare scored second half goals to claim victory for the Edinburgh club in the last four clash at Hampden.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson.

Inverness made three changes from the team that beat Ayr United last week. With Coll Donaldson suspended, Jamie McCart came in at centre back. Brad Mckay and Charlie Trafford were also in the starting line up replacing Kevin McHattie and Nathan Austin.

Caley Thistle had the first chance of the game after four minutes when Tom Walsh beat his marker to run on to a Liam Polworth ball from midfield. His cross into the box found Jordan White who headed the ball over the bar from eight yards under pressure from the Hearts defence.

Walsh’s cross almost found White again midway through the first half and would have found his head if not for John Souttar nodding the ball away from danger.

Hearts had chances from set pieces with Christophe Berra winning the aerial battle in the box to find crosses but couldn’t guide the ball on target.

Ikpeazu did manage to get a shot on target from 12 yards as the Hearts striker found a way through the Inverness defence.

But it didn’t fool Mark Ridgers who comfortably saved the low drive.

Inverness suffered a worry 10 minutes before half time when captain Carl Tremarco went down injured after a collision with Olly Lee but was able to continue.

Ridgers was forced into action immediately at the start of the second half when he pulled off a stunning save to tip Lee’s 30-yarder over the bar.

But Hearts took the lead in the 49th minute when Lee's short corner found former Caley Thistle man Jake Mulraney. His cross into a crowded penalty area found Ikpeazu who scored from close range.

Inverness almost equalised before the hour mark after Arnaud Djoum brought down Polworth at the edge of the box.

Joe Chalmers free kick looked like finding the top left corner but was diverted on to the crossbar by a great save from Zdenek Zlamal.

Minutes later Jamie McCart thought he equalised for Caley Thistle but was ruled to be offside before he struck the ball.

Hearts doubled their advantage midway through the second half when Lee’s corner found Souttar unchallenged in the box to nod home from close range.

The game was over as a contest in the 74th minute when Ridgers was judged to have brought down Ikpeazu in the box and conceded a penalty.

Clare made no mistake from 12 yards to put Hearts 3-0 up and send them into the final.

Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Souttar, Haring, Berra, Lee, Djoum (Bozanic 73), Ikpeazu, Mulraney (Clare 70) , Burns, Keena (Maclean 65).

Substitutes: Doyle, Shaughnessy, Wighton, Brandon.

ICT: Ridgers, Rooney, Tremarco (McHattie 58), Chalmers, McCart, Polworth, Doran, Walsh, White (McCauley 83), Mckay, Trafford (Austin 74)

Substitutes: Mackay, MacGregor, Brown, Harper.

Referee: Don Robertson.

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