Sport Soccer

Thursday 17 January 2019

Watch: Donegal's Carl McHugh scored an amazing volley to send Motherwell into the Scottish Cup semi-finals

Carl McHugh unleashes an unstoppable volley
Carl McHugh unleashes an unstoppable volley Newsdesk Newsdesk

Stephen Robinson urged his players to reach the William Hill Scottish Cup final for Carl McHugh after the Motherwell skipper sealed a return to Hampden with a glorious volley.

The Donegal midfielder chested down a Hearts clearance before letting fly with his weaker, right foot into the top corner from almost 25 yards in the 86th minute of a thrilling quarter-final.

The goal secured a 2-1 victory for the Betfred Cup runners-up but McHugh will miss the semi-final after being booked in the first half for a foul on Harry Cochrane, his second yellow card of the tournament.

When asked if he could have foreseen the finish, Robinson said: "On Carl's right foot? No. Listen, he was excellent and he has been recently.

"He maybe doesn't get the plaudits he deserves but the job he does in front of our back four, the headers and tackles and the organisation he gives us, is excellent. I think he got his just rewards.

"Unfortunately he misses the semi, he's been booked, which is a travesty for the boy. So we have to make sure we get to that final and give him his just rewards."

Hearts manager Craig Levein was also taken aback by the goal after his side forced their way back in the game following a poor first-half display.

Curtis Main got the final touch to a soft early opener after Ross Callachan allowed Craig Tanner's corner to go past his position at the near post.

But Kyle Lafferty levelled from the spot six minutes after the break - despite Steven Naismith being the designated penalty-taker - before hitting the post and forcing a brilliant save from Trevor Carson.

Motherwell got back on top before the winner but Levein felt his side were well worth a replay and argued that they should have had a second spot-kick after a late handball by Andy Rose.

"The first-half performance was terrible," Levein said. "Although Motherwell didn't have a lot of chances because we were stuffy, we were certainly as poor as I have seen us for a while in terms of possession of the ball.

"In the second, we controlled the game. I thought we had an unbelievable penalty claim for a clear handball, we have hit the post and Trevor Carson has made an unbelievable save from Kyle Lafferty's header.

"I honestly did not see that coming. It was a real sucker punch."

Levein explained what happened at the first goal.

"For some inexplicable reason, Ross thought the ball was going out of the park and let it go," he said. "It is a difficult thing to understand but it was typical of our first-half performance."

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