Hibernian knock out Luzern to set up play-off showdown with Aston Villa

Hibs travelled to Switzerland trying to protect a 3-1 aggregate lead from the first leg.

Hibernian knock out Luzern to set up play-off showdown with Aston Villa Getty Images

Hibs have booked a blockbuster Europa Conference League play-off showdown against Aston Villa after securing a draw in Switzerland to knock out Luzern.

Lee Johnson’s men travelled to Lucerne defending a 3-1 lead from their first-leg victory at Easter Road and an early away goal was enough to seal their place in the next round.

And they managed to score another two away from home to secure their place in the next round with a 2-2 draw on Thursday night and a 5-3 aggregate win.

English Premier League side Villa, managed by Unai Emery, now stand between the Edinburgh club and place in the group stages of the competition.

Elie Youan was a doubt before the game against Luzern, but the French forward made the starting lineup and he gave the Easter Road side a commanding aggregate lead when he scored the opener to make 4-1 on aggregate on the ten minute mark.

But the home side fought back and equalised on the night when Jakub Kadack put it past David Marshall to make it 4-2 in the tie six minutes later.

Martin Boyle had a chance to restore the three-goal lead before half-time when he raced through on goal, but the defender somehow managed to get back and get enough of the ball to stop an almost certain goal.

The Australian international looked like he was knocked to the ground but the referee never thought anything of it much to the annoyance of the Hibs players and staff who were shouting for the foul and a potential red-card incident.

The game remained at 1-1 going into the second half and Hibs were forced into their first change of the match when Dylan Levitt suffered an injury and was replaced by Jimmy Jeggo.

With the end of game getting nearer defensive reinforcements were sent for with Rocky Bushiri sent on in the place of Josh Campbell as Hibs looked to see out the final half hour.

But the change never had the desired effect and the home side reduced the deficit just seven minutes later when Kemal Ademi made it 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.

However, just when it looked as Hibs would be facing a nervy last 20 minutes, Boyle struck to reinstate the two-goal aggregate cushion and make it 2-2 on the night with just over 15 minutes left on the clock.

That was to be the goalscorer’s last action of the game and he was replaced by Christian Doidge two minutes later.

And Lewis Stevenson was the next Hibs hero when he blocked what looked like a certain goal for the home side with a last minute clearance.

They will now come up against former player, and Scottish Cup-winning hero, John McGinn when they take on Villa.

The play-off first-leg has been scheduled for next Wednesday at Easter Road because Hearts are in action across Edinburgh on Thursday.

Under UEFA rules, the match will kick off at 5.45pm so it does not clash with Champions League qualifiers.

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