The tie between Hearts and Livingston on Saturday had all the makings of a close match, and it was. 

The two teams could not be separated after 120 minutes of action, so penalties determined which side would progress.

After six consecutive penalties were converted, Montano and Obileye were denied for Livingston, which was enough for Hearts to progress, just.

After being booed off on Wednesday night, Hearts needed a fast start to get the Tynecastle crowd behind them, but they almost fell behind inside four minutes. A shot at goal by Bruce Anderson was thankfully saved by Hearts’ goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

The opening ten minutes were very much end-to-end, and Anderson again almost scored for the visitors in between a Barrie McKay effort from a distance and a penalty shout from Andy Halliday. 

Ellis Simms has been impressive since joining on loan from Everton and he almost broke the deadlock after 15 minutes. A quick release from Gordon allowed Hearts to break up the right, McKay slipped in Simms, whose near post effort was stopped by Stryjek. 

The home side should have gone in front twelve minutes before the break. After working the ball from right to left, Alex Cochrane had acres of space to pick his spot, but the defender took too long to get to the shot and the ball was deflected behind for a corner. 

The home fans were becoming increasingly anxious and the team were again booed off at half time and failed to gather any momentum early in the second half. Robbie Neilson turned to his bench for inspiration using Liam Boyce and Gary Mackay-Steven in an attempt to break the deadlock. 

cinch Premiership – Heart of Midlothian v Aberdeen 22/8/2021. Hearts play host to Aberdeen in the cinch Premiership at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Midlothian. Pic shows: Hearts’ Irish International, Liam Boyce, brings the ball upfield. Credit: Ian Jacobs

The visitors came so close to taking the lead on 73 minutes. The ball was cut back for Scott Pitman, and the deflected effort came back off the post, was gathered by the grateful Craig Gordon, before Simms was again denied by Stryjek up the other end.

In a second half of few chances, Hearts almost went ahead with three minutes to play. Kingsley’s deep corner was met by Souttar but tipped over the bar by Stryjek. 

The Lions dropped considerably deeper in the second half, but Hearts did not do enough in possession to find a breakthrough, so the match went to extra time.

Hearts continued to look the likelier team to get their noses in front and Peter Haring came closest, but his glancing header was thwarted by Stryjek. 

The home side continued to dominate the ball with little penetration after 120 minutes, and penalties would be required after some more booing from the home fans. 

After Shinnie, Souttar, Kelly, Haring, Holt and Woodburn had converted, Montano hit the post for Livingston. Simms scored to put Hearts one kick away, and they didn’t even need to convert it themselves as Gordon saved a shot at goal from Obileye to send the Jambos into the last eight.