By Alistair Watson (AFP) – Mar 18, 2012
GLASGOW — Kilmarnock clinched the Scottish League Cup for the first time in their history with a 1-0 win over Celtic to end the Hoops' hopes of a domestic treble on Sunday.
In a hotly-contest final at Hampden, Kilmarnock had goalkeeper Cammy Bell to thank for making a string of saves from Gary Hooper, Anthony Stokes, Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama.
Kilmarnock had their chances as well with Dean Shiels in particular causing problems for the Celtic defence.
The match appeared to be heading for extra-time before substitute Dieter Van Tornhout, who was celebrating his 27th birthday, popped up in the 84th minute to head Lee Johnson's cross past Fraser Forster.
Kilmarnock were then saved by Bell again as he made a superb stop from substitute Georgios Samaras' late strike.
"It's amazing, I feel very emotional at the moment, brilliant, fantastic," said Bell.
"It just shows how much commitment the boys had, we did it for the manager (Kenny Shiels). Everybody dreams but we are realistic. I think the boys were fantastic.
"I think we deserved to win, I had a few saves to make but you are going to have to against Celtic."
Celtic, who also lost last year's final to Rangers, were denied a stoppage time penalty after Stokes went down under a challenge from Michael Nelson as Kilmarnock clinched their first piece of silverware since their Scottish Cup win in 1997.
At Hampden, nerves seemed to get the better of Kilmarnock in the early stages with a shocking mistake by Mohamadou Sissoko handing Hooper a golden chance to open the scoring after just four minutes.
The French defender's slack pass across the edge of his own box was intercepted by Hooper but Bell was quick off his line to block his shot.
Killie soon settled into the match with Shiels coming close in the 21st minute when he dragged a shot just wide of Forster's post.
At the other end Bell came to the rescue when he dived low to his left to superbly tip a Stokes' header round the post after he connected with Scott Brown's cross.
Kilmarnock continued to threaten with Forster producing a good save to stop a Shiels shot from 25 yards before Stokes cleared Sissoko's header off the line.
Both keepers were stubbornly refusing to let anything get past them with Bell producing a superb fingertip save to push Brown's pile-driver over the bar in the 39th minute.
Kilmarnock had a chance to take the lead right on half-time when Heffernan found himself in space in the box but Forster got out to block his shot.
Shiels should have put Kilmarnock ahead in the 49th minute when he found himself one-on-one with Forster after getting a fortuitous break of the ball but the winger sliced his shot well wide.
Sissoko then got on the end of James Fowler's lofted pass but he sent his awkward backward header wide.
Celtic brought on South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung for Thomas Rogne in an attempt to inject more urgency into the Celtic midfield.
Joe Ledley then drilled a shot wide of Bell's post before Stokes sent his shot straight into the keeper's hands.
Kilmarnock were saved by Bell again moments later when he showed great reflexes to tip Wanyama's header over the bar from a Charlie Mulgrew corner.
The game appeared to be heading to extra time until substitute Van Tornhout gave Kilmarnock an 84th-minute lead.
Ben Gordon released Johnson down the left and his dangerous delivery was met at the far post by the unmarked striker who sent his header past Forster.
There was controversy in stoppage time when Stokes was appealing for a penalty after going down in a challenge from Nelson in the box but the Irish striker was booked for simulation by referee Willie Collum.
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