Hibernian manager Lee Johnson praised his “warriors” after a 2-2 draw in Switzerland set up a European clash with Aston Villa.
Villa captain John McGinn will bring his team to Easter Road next Wednesday for the first leg of the Europa Conference League play-offs after Hibs secured a 5-3 aggregate victory over Luzern.
Elie Youan scored early to put Hibs three ahead on aggregate and then set up Martin Boyle for a 73rd-minute equaliser after Luzern had got in front on the night.
Backed by about 1,000 travelling fans, Hibs saw out the game to ensure they progressed through a second European round in a season for only the second time in 50 years.
“I’m proud of everyone: the players, the staff, the fans.”
Lee Johnson on tonight’s massive result on the UEFA Europa Conference League… pic.twitter.com/y7E8q7ytv6
— Hibernian Football Club (@HibernianFC) August 17, 2023
Johnson told Hibs TV: “I’m super proud. I’m proud of everybody – the board, the fans, the staff who work ever so hard, and the players. The players have been absolute Trojans.
“This was a stretch game for us, they are a quality side. The boys have worked so hard, they have had to double up, run forward, run back, make big angles.
“When we had to see the game out, there were some really good passages of play.
“There were some big, big warrior-type performances. The fans massively played their part.
“It just goes to show we are building something here. Everybody is frustrated with us, and we are as well, with our league start in terms of the two losses.
“But this is a sign we can compete at this type of level and we just keep building the club and pushing it forward.”
Hibs reached the European Cup semi-finals in the competition’s first season in 1955-56 and made the last four and two quarter-finals of the Fairs Cup in the 1960s and the European Cup Winners’ Cup last eight in 1972-73.
But recent forays into Europe have not been successful.
Johnson added: “Hibs haven’t been amazing in the past in terms of Europe. This goes down as one of the biggest wins over two legs, probably in the club’s history. For that we are extremely proud and now obviously we bring on Aston Villa.”