Kelle Roos was Aberdeen’s hero as his second-half penalty save earned his side a point from a goalless draw against Hibernian to move a step closer to securing third place in the cinch Premiership.
Hibs had been the better side throughout, but a goal never looked like coming until a penalty call from VAR referee Andrew Dallas saw Roos save Kevin Nisbet’s resultant spot-kick.
The Dons had prepared a number of festivities to honour their European double-winning team of 1983 and a sell-out crowd packed Pittodrie in response.
However, Hibs silenced the bumper home support, as the visitors provided the better of the play, albeit with no reward.
The pattern was set as early as the first minute when Aberdeen’s Liam Scales was booked for a foul on Joe Newell as the Hibs man threatened to create an early chance.
Elie Youan would be a constant threat on the Hibernian left and he had the first real chance, forcing Roos into a low save after Nisbet’s through-ball.
Youan would turn provider for Josh Campbell after 25 minutes, but the midfielder – who scored a hat-trick in the reverse tie between the teams – saw his effort strike the base of the post and go behind.
Roos seemed to be beaten all-ends up when a quick throw saw Nisbet race clear of a sluggish home defence, but his effort with the outside of his right foot drifted the ball wide of the post.
Aberdeen had been almost non-existent as a threat, Leighton Clarkson’s blocked effort the only chance they had through the first half, but a clever training-ground corner routine saw Hayden Coulson flash an effort narrowly over the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
The home side came close with another effort immediately after the break as Bojan Miovski set Ryan Duncan away, but the Dons youth graduate saw his shot blocked.
But Hibs were back in the supremacy before long, and Youan saw an effort come off the post after lax defending from Coulson.
There was a VAR check a minute later following a nasty clash between Josh Campbell and Scales, but a yellow was deemed enough punishment for the Hibs’ man’s high foot.
The sides traded blows until the 75th minute when a Hibs corner saw Youan head off the crossbar and substitute Harry McKirdy’s strike seemingly come off the post.
However, VAR subsequently showed a Coulson handball and a spot-kick was awarded.
Nisbet stepped up confidently but his drive straight down the middle was saved by the legs of Roos, who survived a subsequent VAR check as to whether he had come off his line and the Dons support were suddenly alive again.
However, Aberdeen, who saw Duk forced off with a hamstring injury, had several others play on through injury in an attritional performance which could prove costly further down the line.
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