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Sunday, 21 May, 2000, 19:06 GMT 20:06 UK
Hearts book Euro slot
Hearts fans
Hearts supporters were jubilant at the final whistle
Hearts 2-1 Hibs

Hearts booked themselves a place in next season's Uefa Cup by beating city rivals Hibs for the first time this season.

With Motherwell beating champions Rangers, Hearts had to take at least a point from their match.

They ensured that the Fir Park side's efforts were in vain by disposing of Hibs in a game they never looked in danger of losing.

Jim Jefferies has guided Hearts into Europe
The final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation among the Tynecastle support as the team lapped up the fans' congratulations.

Hearts began the match in determined mood and had the majority of the attacking play in the opening 20 minutes despite a couple of early scares.

A Tom McManus cross in the seventh minute was turned behind by Steven Pressley, with Paatelainen lurking ominously on his shoulder, and goalkeeper Antti Niemi was at full stretch to cut out Kenny Miller's dangerous centre after a superb ball from Grant Brebner.

But Hearts took control and Colin Cameron shot over from a good position after 10 minutes.

Hefty challenges

Five minutes later a good run by Gary Naysmith came to a disappointing end with a tame right foot effort into the hands of Colgan.

Hibs ensured Hearts did not have things all their own way with a couple of hefty challenges which earned Grant Brebner and Martin McIntosh early bookings.

Hearts came close to taking the lead after 21 minutes when Gordan Petric rose above John Hughes to meet a free kick.

His knock-down landed at the feet of Juanjo whose first time shot was expertly saved by Nick Colgan at his near post.

The home side kept piling on the pressure and a good passing move culminated in another effort from the young Spaniard Juanjo.

This time his header from 10 yards out was just too high to trouble the Hibs 'keeper.

Scrambled clear

Lee Makel became the first Hearts player to go into the book following a needless late challenge on McManus.

A Hibs corner on the half-hour mark might have been expected to relieve some of the pressure on the away side.

As the Hearts defence scrambled it clear, however, the ball broke upfield to Juanjo on the right wing.

A meandering run across field seemed to have led the ex-Barcelona man into a cul-de-sac on the edge of the Hibs penalty area.

But bringing the ball back onto his right foot, Juanjo produced a fine curling shot which left Colgan with no chance as the ball nestled in the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

John Hughes played his last game for Hibs
Hibs, who had John Hughes and Pat McGinlay playing their last games for the club, tried in vain to get back on terms straight away as a Martin McIntosh free kick sailed over the crossbar.

A Kenny Miller effort from 20 yards did not trouble Antti Niemi in the Hearts goal though it at least served as an indication that Hibs were not about to succumb to their first derby defeat of the season lightly.

Colin Cameron became the fourth player to be booked just before half-time for a scything tackle on McManus and the Scotland squad member could perhaps consider himself a little fortunate not to have been yellow-carded moments earlier for a barge on the same player.

The second half began at a similarly frantic pace to the first, though attempts on goal were few and far between.

But that all changed after 57 minutes when a cross into the Hearts box was headed back across goal by Pat McGinlay.

Mistimed tackle

Kenny Miller directed the ball goalwards and with Antti Niemi scrambling to keep it out, the ball came back off the post and Mixu Paatelainen was fastest to react as he dived to head the ball home from close range.

That raised the tempo of the game again, and Darren Jackson saw his long-range attempt gathered comfortably by Colgan.

But Hearts did not have to wait long to regain the lead.

A Lee Makel free kick from the left was deftly flicked on by the head of Gary McSwegan, and the despairing dive of Nick Colgan could not stop the ball flying into the far corner of the net.

Hibernian hopes of salvaging anything from the match were dealt a severe blow after 71 minutes when Martin McIntosh mistimed a tackle on Cameron, leaving referee Hugh Dallas no option but to show him the red card.

The match became a little scrappy after McIntosh's dismissal and centred predominantly around the midfield area.

Jefferies' delight

Hearts seemed content to play out the remainder of the match, knowing they were on the verge of European qualification.

And a Uefa Cup place was confirmed as Hugh Dallas brought the final Edinburgh derby of the season to an end.

Hearts boss Jim Jefferies was delighted his team had shrugged off criticism that they did not have the 'bottle' to secure the point they needed.

"They took a lot of criticism and they were called bottlers, but to their credit they were up for it and went and won that place in Europe despite the pressure that was on us," he said.

Hibs manager Alex McLeish paid tribute to departing stars, Pat McGinlay and John Hughes.

"I thought McGinlay and Yogi were excellent for us and were the epitome of guys who have big hearts in game and great character," said McLeish.

"They have gigantic hearts and I told the others in the dressing room that if they are half as good as that they will be great."


Hearts: Niemi, Flogel, Pressley, Petric, Naysmith, Makel, Severin, Cameron, Jackson, McSwegan, Juanjo.
Subs: Rousset, Fulton, Murray, Tomaschek, Kirk.

Hibernian: Colgan, Collins, McIntosh, Hughes, Lovering, Murray, Brebner, McGinlay, Paatelainen, K. Miller, McManus.
Subs: Gottskalksson, Lovell, Smith, Renwick, Reid.

Referee: Hugh Dallas (Scotland)

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