Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Morton 2.
Hamilton Academical 1-2 Greenock Morton
Morton continued to be the bane of top-flight sides as they knocked Hamilton out of the League Cup with a performance of verve and courage.
Playing brisk, artful football, they came from behind after conceding an early penalty that Dougie Imrie netted.
The hosts needed keeper Remi Matthews to hold Morton at bay, but he was helpless in the second half when beaten by Ross Forbes' exquisite free-kick.
And Jai Quitongo, a handful throughout, scored the winner against his old club.
Morton's threat was evident even before kick-off. They were unbeaten in the first-round group stage, which included a win over Kilmarnock, while in the last campaign they knocked Motherwell out of the Scottish Cup and reached the last 16 of both major cup competitions.
There was youthful promise in their team, but also a foundation of self-belief.
They had to show mental strength, though, to overcome the early set-back of conceding a penalty. There was crispness to Hamilton's play as Ali Crawford played Imrie into the box, and as Lee Kilday came across to meet him shoulder-to-shoulder, Imrie fell to the ground.
The forward picked himself up to score from the spot, while Morton manager Jim Duffy continued to rage against the decision.
His players were also irked but they did not allow it to upset their rhythm and Hamilton had to rely on the agility of Matthews.
He pushed Gary Oliver's shot wide, blocked a Quitongo effort with his legs and leapt to save a flying Michael Tidser header. The latter also saw a clipped volley bounce off the top of the crossbar as Morton continued to press forward.
Louis Longridge managed a couple of efforts in response but the balance of chances was in Morton's favour. They needed to turn that into goals and their patience was rewarded.
Hamilton's defensive fragility was laid bare as Georgios Sarris failed to clear from the edge of the box and the visitors won a free-kick. From 19 yards out, Forbes expertly curled the ball into the net.
Four minutes later, Quitongo burst through, after Michael Devlin failed to deal with a simple ball over the top, and the striker lashed a shot over Matthews into the net.
The remainder of the game was a battle of wills, with few chances created, as Morton saw the game out impressively.
Hamilton Academical player-manager Martin Canning: "We didn't control the ball well enough. Morton were the better team, they worked harder and they wanted it more. Our quality on the ball was poor and we got what we deserved.
"I don't know if, after we scored, we just thought we were going to go on and win the game comfortably, which is never going to be the case. Too many maybe thought that was the game won. There's scope to bring in four players, and we're looking, but they've got to be guys who improve us. We played two guys who weren't strikers, so we know what we need."
Morton manager Jim Duffy: "I don't think anyone can deny that we were the better team and deserve to be in the quarter-finals. We had more shots on goal, their keeper had more saves, we hit the bar and there was a very contentious decision against us for the penalty.
"The players have to be complimented for the quality of their play and their strength of character. [Jai Quitongo] had a couple of great chances in the first half, and then he score a goal. If you keep asking the question as a striker you eventually get your reward.
"We've had to defeat two Premiership sides in Kilmarnock and Hamilton to get to the quarter-finals, so the players deserve credit. We'll enjoy our night and calm down again tomorrow."
- 89SarrisBooked at 40mins
- 3KurakinsBooked at 26minsSubstituted forLyonat 33'minutes
- 18MacKinnonBooked at 73minsSubstituted forRoyat 75'minutes
- 11CrawfordBooked at 70mins
- 30BoydSubstituted forDonatiat 45'minutes
- 4O'WareBooked at 40mins
- 8ForbesBooked at 73mins
- 11NesbittSubstituted forTiffoneyat 90+4'minutes
- 7OliverSubstituted forMcAleerat 90'minutes
- 24QuitongoBooked at 45minsSubstituted forMcDonaghat 80'minutes
- Stephen Finnie
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Morton 2.
Scott Tiffoney (Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).
Substitution, Morton. Scott Tiffoney replaces Aidan Nesbitt.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Michael Doyle.
Attempt saved. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Morton. Caolan McAleer replaces Gary Oliver.
Attempt blocked. Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Gary Oliver (Morton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Morton. Conceded by Massimo Donati.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Ricki Lamie.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Derek Gaston.
Attempt saved. Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Aidan Nesbitt (Morton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Darren Lyon (Hamilton Academical).
Attempt saved. Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Michael Doyle.
Attempt blocked. Darren Lyon (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Morton. Jamie McDonagh replaces Jai Quitongo because of an injury.
Hand ball by Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical).
Hand ball by Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical).
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Richard Roy replaces Darian MacKinnon.
Ross Forbes (Morton) is shown the yellow card.
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
(Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical).
Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Ross Forbes (Morton).
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Oliver (Morton).
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Hamilton Academical 1, Morton 2. Jai Quitongo (Morton) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ross Forbes.
Attempt missed. Thomas O'Ware (Morton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.
Corner, Morton. Conceded by Remi Matthews.
Attempt saved. Michael Tidser (Morton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Corner, Morton. Conceded by Grant Gillespie.
Goal! Hamilton Academical 1, Morton 1. Ross Forbes (Morton) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top right corner.
Gary Oliver (Morton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical).