Hibs and Falkirk will play a winner-takes-all Ladbrokes Premiership play-off semi-final second leg after an entertaining draw at Easter Road.
Striker Lee Miller gave the visitors a 33rd-minute lead when he diverted in a Tom Taiwo drive.
Alan Stubbs’ side came storming out in the second half and levelled in the 57th minute through midfielder Liam Henderson before defender Darren McGregor, who had scored the crucial goal in the 2-1 aggregate win against Raith Rovers, put the Leith side ahead with another thumping header.
But Peter Houston’s men refused to buckle and in the 79th minute substitute Bob McHugh, on for Miller, equalised with a shot which squirmed under Hibs goalkeeper Conrad Logan to set up a potentially thrilling game at the Falkirk Stadium on Friday for the right to take on Kilmarnock.
There was nothing cagey about the early stages of the game, although neither side could take control.
In the 14th minute there was applause around the stadium in tribute to former Falkirk player Chris Mitchell, who died last Friday aged 27.
Falkirk’s goal came after Miller had been fouled by McGregor 25 yards from goal.
Leahy’s free-kick struck Hibs’ defensive wall and spun to Taiwo and his drive from the edge of the box was redirected by the foot of Miller, with the home side claiming offside.
Midfielder John McGinn went close with a drive at the start of the second half and moments later Anthony Stokes missed a great chance, the on-loan striker ballooning his shot over the bar with only Falkirk goalkeeper Danny Rogers to beat.
There was little surprise when the home side drew level, Stokes heading into the path of his fellow Celtic loanee Henderson, who fired into the net from 12 yards.
The momentum was with the hosts, and they took the lead when McGregor rose inside a packed six-yard box to bullet in a Henderson cross with his head.
Hibs were well on top and there was a claim for a penalty when Bairns skipper David McCracken appeared to put his hand on the ball after he and Rogers combined to thwart McGinn, but referee Alan Muir was not interested.
There was more drama in the 79th minute when McHugh spun inside the box and drove at goal, with Logan making a mess of his attempted save and the ball trickling over the line, much to the dismay of the Hibs fans and the joy of those in dark blue.