London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2004-05--> All for 20040916
<-Page <-Team Thu 16 Sep 2004 Hearts 3 Braga 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Telegraph ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Roddy Forsyth auth-> Anton Genov
[P Almeida 65]
23 of 028 Andy Webster 52 ;Paul Hartley 62 ;Patrick Kisnorbo 91 E H

Kisnorbo puts gloss on Hearts' experiment

By Roddy Forsyth

Hearts (0) 3 Braga (0) 1

Scottish football history recorded another significant episode last night as the home of Scottish rugby hosted a football match for the first time and a crowd of 18,769 witnessed Heart of Midlothian achieve a narrow lead to take to Portugal.

Judging by Braga's second half play, Hearts' advantage is by no means impregnable but Patrick Kisnorbo's slashing injury time drive to supplement goals by Andy Webster and Paul Hartley – Paulo Sergio Almeida scored Portuguese side - are grounds for reasonable hope.
Andy Webster
Goal-den boy: Andy Webster breaks the deadlock

For the second time this week a Scottish side in European action was involved in a delayed start. While Celtic's Champions League meeting was held up by crowd congestion outside the ground, that was never likely to be a factor at Murrayfield. Instead, the Bulgarian referee was unhappy that the nets were not properly secured, perhaps inevitably at a ground where the ball usually has to be kicked above the crossbar to count as a score.

Although the stadium was only a third full and the crowd separated, at least on the West Stand side, from the action by an eight-lane running track, the atmosphere was better than generally anticipated. Craig Levein, whose attacking options were restricted by illness and injury, began with Mark de Vries as a lone forward but it was soon evident that Phil Stamp was pushing up at every opportunity.

With Hearts short of firepower and Braga content to play on the break, there was little goalmouth action until the game suddenly opened out, 10 minutes from half time, when de Vries was fouled by Jose Nunes fractionally beyond the edge of the box.

The free kick, though, was wasted, but in Hearts' next upfield foray, Stamp forced Paulo Santos into an uncertain block and McAllister was unlucky to see his reaction shot land on the roof of the net.

A well-worked free kick brought the breakthrough for Hearts six minutes after the break. Awarded a free kick inside the Braga half on the right, Steven Pressley shaped to loft the ball into the box but instead feinted and pushed a pass ahead of Alan Maybury, who had stepped forward to beat one man and cross to the back post where de Vries was lurking to head back across goal. Webster stooped to finish what had every sign of a blackboard setpiece.

This shocked Braga out of their indolence,Tomas crashed his attempt off Craig Gordon's chest and behind for a corner kick and this was followed by an explosive passage in which both teams scored.

Hartley exchanged passes with Robbie Neilson and when the return ball came across the penalty area the midfield player met it with a perfectly placed drive past Paulo Santos to put Hearts two ahead.

Scarcely had their fans completed the first chorus of celebration, however, than Braga also netted as Almeida, otherwise known as Paolo Sergio, connected with a bullet header a yard out to beat Gordon.


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