London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Thu 25 Nov 2004 FC Basel 1 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Gary Ralston auth-> Kristinn Jakobsson
[C Carignano 76]
8 of 018 Dennis Wyness 31 ;Robbie Neilson 89 E A


Nov 26 2004

By Gary Ralston

ROBBIE NEILSON scored the first goal of his career last night to put Hearts on the brink of Euro glory.

The full-back's thunderbolt two minutes from time gave John Robertson's side a famous 2-1 victory at FC Basel.

Brave Hearts are in with a great chance of making the last 32 of the UEFA Cup if they can defeat Ferencvaros in their final Group A game at Murrayfield on December16.

The Jambos put in one of the gutsiest performances in Scottish Euro history after Basel cancelled out a first-half opener from Dennis Wyness with14minutes remaining.

Hearts grabbed the winner they deserved when Neilson drilled a 16-yard effort past keeper Pascal Zuberbuhler to spark scenes of joy on the bench and among the 2000 travelling fans in the St Jakob's Stadium.

Neilson said: 'I'm delighted. It's the first goal I've ever scored from open play - the only other time I've hit the net was in a penalty shoot-out in a cup tie at Ross County four years ago.

'Hopefully it will be the first of many now my hoodoo is broken but I don't even know what I was doing up there.

'I saw Phil Stamp get on the end of a header and ran to support him. I was shocked when the ball dropped to me and I tried to keep it down.

'I had a similar effort against Kilmarnock a few weeks ago and skied it.

'I'm delighted but it's not about me, it's about the team. We showed great character and worked so hard for that victory.

'It feels even better than winning in Bordeaux last year because we went on to lose the second leg of that game. Hopefully this time we can progress to the next stage.'

Hearts boss John Robertson praised his heroes, who captured their first points in a group section many observers reckon is the most difficult of all.

The former Jambos striker had particular praise for defensive stalwart Steven Pressley and keeper Craig Gordon, who kept his side in front with a wonder stop in the second half to deny Aussie Scott Chipperfield.

Robertson said: 'Craig's save was the best I've ever seen and Steven was also immense.

'He has been in his bed for two days but he's a leader who showed his true character.We get too blase about Elvis because he is so solid week in, week out.

'This feels fantastic. We needed to be brave to win and we were.

'I was pleased for Dennis because he's a good and clever player who went out there on the big stage and shone.

'We knew we'd get chances later on and I was delighted when Robbie scored that second.

'I have nothing but admiration and pride for my players and it's a fantastic night for all the supporters who were here and believed in us.

'It's a terrific result considering the teams Basel have defeated here in the past and we've dug out a win that keeps our hopes alive.

'We've given ourselves a chance of progressing and a bumper crowd will support us in our last game at Murrayfield, I'm sure, knowing a win could take us through.'

Taken from the Daily Record

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