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Anthony Stokes hails Celtic's battling spirit after comeback victory over Dundee United

Updated: Monday, 15 Apr 2013 11:13 | Comments

Anthony Stokes: 'It's been a great season so far but focus is what it's all about and we want to end the season on a high'
Anthony Stokes: 'It's been a great season so far but focus is what it's all about and we want to end the season on a high'

Celtic match-winner Anthony Stokes hailed his side's battling spirit after they edged out Dundee United in a seven-goal thriller to reach the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Stokes headed home the winning goal in the first period of extra-time to settle an enthralling encounter 4-3 and book Celtic a final showdown against Hibernian next month.

Celtic, who had lost their previous three matches at Hampden, were pushed all the way in a match which saw the lead change hands four times, and Stokes told Sky Sports 2: "It's brilliant, I'm delighted.

"The boys defended very well, they put their bodies on the line towards the end and we got the victory, and that's the main thing."

The win keeps Celtic on course for the double as they are within touching distance of lifting the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title as well.

Stokes said: "It's been a great season so far but focus is what it's all about and we want to end the season on a high."

"The boys defended very well, they put their bodies on the line towards the end" - Anthony Stokes

Celtic could hardly have had a better start to the semi-final with Kris Commons firing them ahead after just 90 seconds but Dundee United hit back with goals from Gary Mackay-Steven and Jon Daly to go 2-1 ahead by the half-hour mark.

That advantage lasted barely a minute though as Victor Wanyama headed Celtic level, and the Hoops reclaimed the lead on the hour when Commons netted his second of the match.

The Taysiders refused to give in and equalised once again through Daly's 71st-minute goal, sending the match to extra-time where Stokes finally settled the contest.

United boss Jackie McNamara said: "Disappointed to lose. I couldn't have asked for any more and I'm proud of the lads today, they gave us everything."

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