Celtic striker Robbie Keane's shot is blocked by Scott Severin
By Fraser Gibson
Robbie Keane's second-half hat-trick kept Celtic's silverware quest alive as Tony Mowbray's side swept into the Active Nation Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Brave Kilmarnock kept the visitors at bay until the second half when Keane latched onto Edson Braafheid's long pass to roll home.
Substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune set up the unmarked Keane for a second with a cross to the back post for a tap-in.
Fortune again supplied Keane for his third after a swift counter attack.
Celtic, with Artur Boruc missing for compassionate reasons and replaced by Lukasz Zaluska in goal, carved out the first opportunity of the match after six minutes when Scott Brown shot wide of Cammy Bell's left-hand post after a forceful run.
Craig Bryson ran at Celtic's defence on 14 minutes and the ball fell to Allan Russell whose effort from 16 yards clipped the bar before going over.
Keane should have given Celtic the lead on 21 minutes when Marc Crosas slipped the ball through to him, leaving the striker one-on-one with Bell, but the Kilmarnock keeper did well to block.
The home side's Tim Clancy, who escaped sanction after an earlier challenge on Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen caught the forward's knee, was then booked for clattering into Brown.
Before Iain Brines brought first-half proceedings to a halt, Celtic striker Rasmussen appeared to catch Frazer Wright with an off-the-ball elbow in the box, but no action was taken.
The visitors looked lively at the beginning of the second half and Wright was on hand to head McGeady's volley off the line after Keane had picked out the Celtic forward.
That man McGeady shot at goal again moments later and Bell had to look smart to turn his half volley over the bar.
Kilmarnock were not far away after Bryson won a free kick on the edge of the box and Mehdi Taouil curled the ball a fraction over Zaluska's bar.
Jimmy Calderwood's side then hit woodwork for the second time in the match when Russell forced the ball onto the post after Clancy's cross from the left was flicked on by Mark Burchill.
Celtic manager Mowbray decided action was required and sent on Georgios Samaras and Fortune for Rasmussen and Crosas.
The dynamic of the game changed on 64 minutes as Keane superbly controlled a long diagonal ball from Braafheid to take him past Bell, before rolling the ball into the net to put Celtic ahead.
The Republic of Ireland international almost turned provided moments later when he played in Samaras, but the Greek striker could only shoot across the face of goal from a tight angle.
Keane secured Celtic's place in the last four nine minutes from time when he tapped in after Fortune's cross found him unmarked in the box.
Kilmarnock were desperate to hit back instantly, but that gave Celtic space to break and Fortune unselfishly set up his strike partner for a hat-trick as he smashed home his third.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 13 March 2010
02 Clancy yellow card
05 Wright (Kiernan 83)
27 Burchill (Invincibile 84)
02 Hinkel (Wilson 84)
17 Crosas (Fortune 57)
19 Rasmussen (Samaras 57)
Ref: BrinesAtt: 7,351
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:08 The referee blows for the end of the match.
88:08 Unfair challenge on Daniele Invincibile by Darren O'Dea results in a free kick. Scott Severin crosses the ball, Headed effort
from close range by Daniele Invincibile goes wide left of the goal.
87:28 Mark Wilson produces a cross.
83:27 Substitution Daniele Invincibile comes on in place of Mark Burchill.
83:27 Substitution Andreas Hinkel goes off and Mark Wilson comes on.
82:51 Substitution Robert Kiernan comes on in place of Frazer Wright.
81:36 Marc-Antoine Fortune provided the assist for the goal.
81:36 GOAL - Robbie Keane:Kilmarnock 0 - 3 Celtic A goal is scored by Robbie Keane from just inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-3
80:08 Assist by Marc-Antoine Fortune.
80:08 GOAL - Robbie Keane:Kilmarnock 0 - 2 Celtic Robbie Keane finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-2 Celtic.
77:57 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson, Lukasz Zaluska makes a save.
76:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Georgios Samaras on Allan Russell. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jamie Hamill
from right wing, Josh Thompson makes a clearance.
76:30 Aiden McGeady takes a shot. Save by Cameron Bell.
75:12 Scott Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Bryson. Scott Severin crosses the ball in from the free kick, save made
by Lukasz Zaluska.
72:22 Allan Russell challenges Scott Brown unfairly and gives away a free kick. Josh Thompson restarts play with the free kick.
71:54 Effort on goal by Marc-Antoine Fortune from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
70:00 Georgios Samaras produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
67:30 Foul by Marc-Antoine Fortune on Tim Clancy, free kick awarded. Cameron Bell takes the free kick.
64:25 Allan Russell challenges Andreas Hinkel unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lukasz Zaluska takes the free kick.
63:02 Assist by Edson Braafheid.
63:02 GOAL - Robbie Keane:Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Celtic Robbie Keane scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic.
56:19 Lukasz Zaluska restarts play with the free kick.
56:19 Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Marc-Antoine Fortune coming on for Marc Crosas.
56:19 Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Georgios Samaras coming on for Morten Rasmussen.
56:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Crosas by Craig Bryson.
54:41 Close range shot by Allan Russell strikes the post.
51:51 Craig Bryson fouled by Marc Crosas, the ref awards a free kick. Strike comes in from Mehdi Taouil from the free kick.
49:06 Inswinging corner taken by Marc Crosas, Mehdi Taouil manages to make a clearance.
48:47 Aiden McGeady takes a shot. Save made by Cameron Bell.
48:29 Unfair challenge on Edson Braafheid by Liam Kelly results in a free kick. Edson Braafheid restarts play with the free kick.
46:54 Marc Crosas sends in a cross, Aiden McGeady has an effort at goal. Clearance made by Frazer Wright.
45:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Kelly on Landry N'Guemo. Marc Crosas restarts play with the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+1:15 The ref blows to end the first period.
43:09 Marc Crosas delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, save by Cameron Bell.
43:09 Booking Booking for Tim Clancy.
42:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tim Clancy on Scott Brown.
40:53 The ball is crossed by Craig Bryson.
39:34 Allan Russell takes a shot. Save by Lukasz Zaluska.
38:31 Marc Crosas takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Frazer Wright.
38:14 The ball is sent over by Aiden McGeady.
37:23 Frazer Wright gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Morten Rasmussen. Marc Crosas takes the direct free kick.
31:31 Allan Russell challenges Andreas Hinkel unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lukasz Zaluska takes the direct free kick.
28:12 Corner taken by Craig Bryson, Scott Brown makes a clearance.
27:33 Scott Severin takes a shot. Save by Lukasz Zaluska.
26:55 Unfair challenge on Craig Bryson by Marc Crosas results in a free kick. Mehdi Taouil takes the free kick.
24:38 Shot from deep inside the area by Allan Russell goes over the bar.
20:24 Marc Crosas takes a shot. Cameron Bell makes a save.
15:10 Jamie Hamill challenges Aiden McGeady unfairly and gives away a free kick. Edson Braafheid produces a strike on goal direct
from the free kick, Cameron Bell makes a save.
14:28 Marc Crosas fouled by Liam Kelly, the ref awards a free kick. Marc Crosas restarts play with the free kick.
13:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mehdi Taouil on Landry N'Guemo. Landry N'Guemo restarts play with the free kick.
13:08 Allan Russell takes a shot.
10:42 Shot from just outside the box by Liam Kelly goes over the bar.
10:02 Craig Bryson takes the outswinging corner, Scott Brown makes a clearance.
8:54 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson from the right by-line, clearance made by Scott Brown.
5:35 Craig Bryson fouled by Marc Crosas, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Severin restarts play with the free kick.
5:03 Scott Brown has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
3:33 Corner from the left by-line taken by Craig Bryson, save by Lukasz Zaluska.
2:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Bryson by Marc Crosas. Scott Severin takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The referee starts the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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