Hibernian have joined city-rivals Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi-finals after a 2-1 victory over ten-man Motherwell at Fir Park in Sunday’s first quarter-final.
Teenage forward Elias Mekersen was the hero for the large travelling support with a first half double in his first start for the Easter Road club.
His brace came after the hosts left themselves with a mountain to climb as soon as the game kicked off when defender Bevis Mugabi was sent off for a rash lunge in the opening minute.
Willie Collum could potentially have shown another two red cards in the first ten minutes with Jason Roberts and Melkersen both escaping with bookings during a frantic start in North Lanarkshire.
Despite being a man down Motherwell had the first real chance of the game through Kevin Van Veen who fired a shot just wide of Macey’s post.
But it was Melkersen, who joined from Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt in January, who opened the scoring with a front post header from a pin point cross from Sylvester Jaspar.
And the 19-year-old made it 2-0 on the half hour mark when he drilled a composed finish past goalkeeper Liam Kelly.
But Motherwell got themselves back into the game with a goal from Joseph Efford two minutes before half time to make it 2-1.
Man of the moment Melkersen nearly had a hat trick on both sides of the half-time break, first when he was presented with a golden opportunity in first half injury-time, but flashed his header wide of the post, and then another headed chance from a Ewan Henderson cross in the opening minutes of the second as Hibs looked to restore their two goal advantage.
Graham Alexander’s men had the better of the second half as they tried to get back into the game and force extra-time but clear cut chances were few and far between as they struggled to get past the Hibs defence.
The best chance fell to Woolery with just over five minutes on the clock, but his ambitious effort flew just over the bar.
Dundee host Rangers in the third quarter-final later on Sunday and city-rivals Dundee United will play Celtic at Tannadice on Monday.
Hearts beat St Mirren 4-2 at Tynecastle on Saturday to book their place in the last four.