Substitute Myziane Maolida scored a late equaliser as Hibernian came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with 10-man Kilmarnock in an entertaining Scottish Premiership match at Rugby Park.
The hosts took a first-half lead when striker Dylan Vente inadvertently headed Danny Armstrong’s cross into his own goal and Killie extended their advantage early in the second period as another Armstrong inswinger was steered in by Matty Kennedy.
Joe Newell’s spectacular volley reduced the deficit before Corrie Ndaba saw red for the hosts with 20 minutes remaining after catching Jair Tavares on the ankle.
And the home side were unable to hold on, as Maolida latched on to a long ball before firing home to salvage a point for Hibs in a game in which they were second best for long periods.
After a three-minute delay owing to VAR connection issues, the game began in an open fashion, with David Watson whistling a fierce drive over in the opening minute and Vente firing a low shot narrowly wide moments later.
The hosts took the lead in the 25th minute after Hibs failed to clear their lines from a corner. Armstrong collected the ball before curling in an inswinging cross from the right that Vente could only divert past his own goalkeeper.
It should have been 2-0 moments later as Kennedy was released one-on-one with David Marshall but the winger prodded a tame effort wide of the right post.
Hibernian had been poor but they almost grabbed a leveller on the stroke of half-time as home goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara was forced to palm away a Emiliano Marcondes effort from eight yards.
The visitors also spurned another golden chance just a minute into the second period when Tavares was released by Vente’s flicked header but the Portuguese winger took too long, allowing Stuart Findlay to make a crucial last-ditch sliding tackle.
Hibs were soon made to pay for those missed opportunities as Kilmarnock extended their lead in the 54th minute. Armstrong was the architect again, delivering another inch-perfect cross that Kennedy expertly slid past Marshall.
The hosts looked to get back into the game and Killie keeper O’Hara made a brilliant one-handed stop in the 58th minute to deny Tavares.
O’Hara was helpless minutes later, however, as the away side got themselves back into the game. It was their best move of the match, with Marcondes and Dylan Levitt combining in midfield to release Rory Whittaker, whose deflected cross was steered wonderfully into the top corner by Newell from the edge of the box.
Hibs were almost level just seconds later as the ball was cut back to Marcondes but O’Hara again saved well, with his feet this time.
Ndaba was then given his marching orders in the 71st minute, with referee Grant Irvine giving the red card after being recommended by VAR to consult the pitchside monitor.
And Hibs’ numerical advantage told when Maolida controlled Levitt’s hopeful long ball before firing through bodies past O’Hara with nine minutes remaining.
It could have got even better for the visitors but Christian Doidge’s late header landed just wide as an entertaining game ended in a draw.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country