Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock1HibernianHibernian0

Kilmarnock 1-0 Hibernian: Brophy penalty for hosts keeps Europa League football in sight

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland at Rugby Park

The fight for third-place in the Scottish Premiership and the remaining Europa League place will go to the wire after Kilmarnock's narrow win over Hibernian.

Eamonn Brophy's penalty, his first goal in 10 games, took his side back above Aberdeen into third on goal difference.

The forward netted after David Gray was judged to have hauled down Alex Bruce.

Victory at home to Rangers on the final day of the season should be enough to clinch third spot.

That would require Aberdeen to beat Hibernian at Easter Road, with a six-goal swing needed in the Pittodrie club's favour.

Hibs, meanwhile, have all but secured fifth place and are on course to finish above rivals Hearts for a second consecutive season.

Contentious penalty clinches vital win

Kilmarnock began the match the more assertive, but slowly Hibs found their rhythm and created the first real chance.

Marc McNulty and Fraser Murray combined well to fashion an opening for Stephane Omeonga. The on-loan Genoa midfielder took a touch before hitting a shot but it was comfortably smothered by Daniel Bachmann.

Kilmarnock had to wait until the 29th minute for a real glimpse of goal. Clever work down the right by Stephen O'Donnell and Chris Burke resulted in a chance for Brophy, who blazed his effort over the bar.

It sparked a flurry of chances for the hosts. First Greg Taylor's miscued cross hit the crossbar, then, from a corner, Ofir Marciano was forced to save well from Gary Dicker's header.

But then came the penalty. From a corner, Bruce went down under Gray's challenge, and referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the spot despite the protestations of the Hibs captain, who was booked for his troubles. It was a contentious decision with both players grappling, Bruce simply seemed to go down first.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, up stepped Brophy to fire home.

It should have been 2-0 in the 55th minute. Youssouf Mulumbu brilliantly played Brophy through one-on-one with Marciano, but the striker fired his shot wide - it was a big chance missed.

Then, two minutes from time, Hibs almost snatched an equaliser. A rasping effort from Thomas Agyepong was tipped over the bar by Bachmann, as Kilmarnock sealed a vital three points.

Kilmarnock in Europa League driving seat

This result leaves Kilmarnock in the driving seat for third place, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference.

On the final weekend of the Premiership season Steve Clarke's side will face Rangers at Rugby Park while Aberdeen are away at Hibs.

Essentially Kilmarnock need to equal or better Aberdeen's result to seal third place, providing the Pittodrie side don't run up a cricket score at Easter Road to significantly boost their goal difference.

'The penalty was soft' - reaction

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "We should have won more comfortably. We were the better team and deserved to win. I've just seen [the penalty] there, it was soft. But sometimes you deserve a refereeing decision to go in your favour."

"We have come a long way in a short space of time. Rangers will want to finish on a high, we want to finish on a high. We hope the Kilmarnock support come out and show [owner] Billy Bowie was right to close one of the stands down."

Hibernian head coach Paul Heckingbottom said: "It's not a penalty. That's not the reason we lost the game, we lost the game because we were rubbish. "There's nothing more to say. We looked like a team that had nothing to play for."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 26Bachmann
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 4Bruce
  • 17FindlaySubstituted forBoydat 87'minutes
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Power
  • 8Dicker
  • 24Mulumbu
  • 29BurkeSubstituted forMillarat 79'minutes
  • 25BrophySubstituted forMcAlenyat 74'minutes
  • 7McKenzie

Substitutes

  • 1MacDonald
  • 9Boyd
  • 12Ndjoli
  • 15McAleny
  • 18Waters
  • 19Millar
  • 22Millen

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 2GrayBooked at 32mins
  • 24McGregor
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 33Murray
  • 5Milligan
  • 14Mallan
  • 40OmeongaSubstituted forHorganat 65'minutes
  • 22KamberiSubstituted forAgyepongat 66'minutes
  • 9McNultySubstituted forShawat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Bartley
  • 7Horgan
  • 13Gauld
  • 17Agyepong
  • 26Spector
  • 31Bogdan
  • 32Shaw
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
7,484

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home15
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Hibernian 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Hibernian 0.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian).

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Fraser Murray (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Daniel Bachmann.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Kris Boyd replaces Stuart Findlay because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Alan Power (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Mallan (Hibernian).

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Stuart Findlay.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Liam Millar replaces Chris Burke.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is too high.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Conor McAleny replaces Eamonn Brophy.

  18. Post update

    Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Thomas Agyepong replaces Florian Kamberi.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic36266475175884
2Rangers36229579255475
3Kilmarnock371810948301864
4Aberdeen371971155431264
5Hibernian3714121150371354
6Hearts37156164148-751
7St Johnstone37157153846-852
8Motherwell37146174354-1148
9Livingston371111154041-144
10Hamilton3686222673-4730
11St Mirren3668222964-3526
12Dundee3756262975-4621
View full Scottish Premiership table

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