• STV
  • MySTV

Ross County beat ten-man Celtic 3-1 to reach League Cup final

Efe Ambrose was sent off and Leigh Griffiths missed a penalty to end Celtic's treble dream.

Ross County beat Celtic to reach the 2016 League Cup final.
Ross County beat Celtic to reach the 2016 League Cup final. SNS

Ross County booked a place in the League Cup final against Hibernian in sensational style after coming from behind to beat 10-man Celtic 3-1 at Hampden Park. 

A whirlwind start to the match saw Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven scoring before a minute had elapsed, but after Hoops defender Efe Ambrose was sent packing by referee Craig Thomson in the 13th minute for fouling Staggies striker Alex Schalk in the box, Martin Woods levelled from the penalty spot. 

It proved to be the turning point in the encounter. 

Ross County defender Paul Quinn, making his second debut for the club after joining last week following his release from Aberdeen, headed the Highlanders into the lead three minutes after the interval with Schalk adding a third in the 63rd minute with a thunderous drive. 

To compound a miserable afternoon for Ronny Deila's men, County goalkeeper Scott Fox saved a Leigh Griffiths penalty in the 75th minute as the Staggies battled for their place in the March 13 final. 

As a second-tier side County beat Celtic 2-0 in the 2010 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final but this time, in Deila's 100th game in charge, it ended hopes of a Hoops treble which had looked firmly on course at the start of the match. 

There were just seconds on the clock when a Callum McGregor pass sent Griffiths racing clear through the middle and the Hoops striker, with only Fox to beat, unselfishly squared to Mackay-Steven to knock into an empty net. 

Even the Hoops supporters appeared taken by surprise at such an early advantage. Griffiths twice more threatened to get through a porous Staggies defence, with Ambrose getting his head to two McGregor corners, the first cleared off the line by Richard Foster, the second speeding past the far post. 

In between those two chances, Schalk drew a fine save from Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon with a 25-yard drive at the expense of a corner which came to nothing but which offered some hope for County. 

That hope grew when Ambrose was sent packing for a 'last man' foul on Schalk as he drove towards Gordon. Before Woods sent the Scotland international the wrong way with his spot-kick, Erik Sviatchenko, the Denmark defender signed from Midtjylland last week, replaced McGregor to make his debut. 

The loss of a man did not deter Celtic, who continued to dominate. In the 25th minute, midfielder Stuart Armstrong curled a shot just over the crossbar before Jonathan Franks came on for Dingwall midfielder Stewart Murdoch, who had picked up an earlier booking. 

Gordon saved from Woods and Fox thwarted Nir Bitton and then Sviatchenko in the follow-up as both sides threw themselves forward energetically before the break. 

Three minutes after the restart County forged ahead when, from a Woods corner, captain Andrew Davies headed back across and Quinn bulleted a header into the net from six yards. 

The game stretched and further drama ensued when a swift Staggies break ended with Woods playing in Schalk for the striker to lash a left-footed shot high past Gordon. 

Celtic captain Scott Brown, recovered from a knee injury, replaced Bitton as Deila looked for some inspiration and indeed the Parkhead men kept pressing. 

In the 70th minute a penalty claim for a challenge by Michael Gardyne on Mikael Lustig was ignored but five minutes later Thomson did point to the spot for a handball by Ross County substitute Brian Graham, on for Schalk, but Fox blocked Griffiths' fiercely-struck penalty. 

Gordon prevented Jackson Irvine from making it 4-1 on the break and at the other end, in the tiring final stages, Fox's leg denied Griffiths as County defended their lead all the way to the final whistle, with some determination.

Copyright of Press Association.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.