A Heart break as Jardel hits two Jefferies on Euro mission while Portuguese show their strength
1 Aug 1996
HEARTS manager Jim Jefferies, indulging in a little bit of espionage work in Yugoslavia, missed this defeat at Tynecastle last night.
But no doubt his players, particularly those for whom European football is a novel experience, will be quick to tell him how tough a baptism this 90 minutes turned out to be.
It remains to be seen just how impressed Jefferies will be after his look at Red Star Belgrade, Hearts opponents in the Cup-winners Cup next week.
But the Tynecastle side can content themselves with the fact that they are unlikely to pose such a daunting task as the Portuguese champions.
After the match, the Brazilian, who would have cost Rangers £3m had they signed him, said: "It's great to be back in Scotland.
I have nothing but happy memories of my short time here." Hearts assistant Billy Brown admitted he was pleased to see the back of Jardel.
"I was glad he went off.
He's quite a player.
"I thought they were a very good side and I'm just thankful we don't play against them every week.
The Hearts fans who rolled up to Tynecastle hoping for a glimpse of their club's trio of new signings, David Weir, Neil McCann, and Jeremy Goss, were in for a disappointment.
The three new recruits were on the bench as was Pasquale Bruno, perhaps the most experienced European campaigner in Jim Jefferies' squad, who wants an extension to his contract.
The Italian, who is seeking an extension to his contract, is set to meet his manager on Friday for talks to thrash out his future once and for all.
His absence meant that it was very much a wet-behind-the-ears home defence which faced the Portuguese champions.
In addition to young Paul Ritchie and Alan McManus, rookie goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie, who was one of Stenhousemuir's heroes as they won the Challenge Cup last season, was thrown into the fray.
The big talking point as far as the men from Portugal were concerned was the appearance of former Rangers' target Jardel, who made his debut after having missed out in the weekend win over Liverpool.
Jardel looked impressive in the opening 45 minutes, a fact to which the inexperienced Hearts defence would testify.
By the time they went in at the break, the big striker had scored two goals.
Young McKenzie had all of 60 seconds to wait for his first piece of the action when he fisted away a cross from Folha.
But Hearts quickly hit back with a snap effort from Colin Cameron and a fierce drive from Stephen Frail which was tipped over the bar.
The opening goal, however, arrived in 36 minutes.
Jardel played a neat one-two with Tulipa on the left of the penalty area and was cool enough to clip his final effort past McKenzie.
Gary Mackay, who was doing his best to stoke things for Hearts in midfield, might have done better four minutes from the interval when his weak effort didn't do justice to some fine play from Robertson and Fulton.
Hearts were made to pay dearly when Jardel beat McKenzie to the ball and from six yards out knocked it casually into the net.
Jardel was kept indoors at half-time, probably contenting himself with a job well done.
Hearts, for their part, made some early second half changes in a bid to come up with some kind of lifeline with Weir, McCann and Goss all coming on.
The Portuguese looked dangerous whenever they broke forward and in 71 minutes substitute Ruibarros brought out a good save from McKenzie when goal number three looked inevitable.
But Hearts hit back strongly and in 73 minutes substitute Kevin Thomas fired in a fierce drive which was superbly tipped over by 'keeper Lars Eriksson.
But the Hearts striker was not to be denied.
Colin Cameron took the corner, David Weir knocked it on, and Thomas struck with a well controlled hook shot.
Eleven minutes from time Hearts almost got the equaliser with Eriksson again denying the home side, this time via a shot from Goss.
But Oporto clinched their victory five minutes from time through substitute Edgar.
HEARTS - McKenzie, Frail, Ritchie, McManus, McPherson, Mackay, Colquhoun, Cameron, Robertson, Fulton, Pointon.
Substitutes - Weir, Bruno, Goss, McCann, Hogarth, Thomas.
OPORTO - Eriksson, Joao Pinto, Rui Oscar, Alejandro Dias, Jorge Costa, Romeu, Barroso, Tulipa, Jardel, Costa, Folha.
Substitutes: Hilairo, Ruiberros, Conceicao, Quinzinho, Bino, Manuel Pinto, Edgar, Lipcsei, Mielcarski.
Referee - A Waddell (Edinburgh).
Taken from the Herald