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Thursday, 2 November, 2000, 02:20 GMT
Celtic youngsters see them through
Hearts 2-5 Celtic (After extra-time)
Celtic left out many of their stars for the CIS Insurance Cup quarter-final and it was left to their youngsters to score the goals to take them to the semi-finals.
Superb goals by Stephen Crainey and Jamie Smith were matched by two penalties by Hearts' Colin Cameron to take the game into extra-time.
A mistake by Antti Niemi in the Hearts goal allowed Colin Healy to put Celtic ahead before Lubo Moravcik and Jackie McNamara put a rather flattering spin on the scoreline.
But Hearts can hold their heads high after a spirited display in marked contrast to the recent meek performances against Hibs and St Johnstone.
Celtic began the game with a vastly changed team from that which has marauded to the top of the Scottish Premier League.
Martin O'Neill had insisted that he would not field a weakened team but the absence of regulars such as Larsson, Lambert, and the quartet of Boyd, Petta, Petrov and Mjallby on the bench seemed to suggest otherwise.
O'Neill gave starting places to Alan Stubbs, Colin Healy, Stephen Crainey, Tommy Johnson and Jamie Smith while Hearts brought in Grant Murray, Gary Locke, Gordan Petric, Thomas Flogel and Robert Tomaschek.
The game started at a reasonable pace with neither side gaining any obvious advantage early on.
Hearts looked anxious to reverse their recent fortunes, with Colin Cameron particularly lively in the middle of the park.
It was the home side that had the first real attempt at goal with ten minutes gone after good work by Tomaschek down the left.
His whipped ball in found Flogel on the edge of the box and his adventurous hitch-kick floated just over the bar.
Neither player was able to continue and Hearts were forced into an early double substitution with Robbie Neilson and Juanjo coming on.
Scott Severin picked up the game's first booking midway through the first half for a rash challenge on Colin Healy 25 yards from the Hearts goal.
The resulting free kick led to Celtic's first effort on goal, Healy heading straight into the arms of Antti Niemi.
Seconds later, Petric headed just wide at the other end.
Healy fired a long-range effort wide after 25 minutes, but neither goalkeeper had yet been forced into a save of any note.
Celtic had a huge let-off after half-an-hour when Jonathan Gould made a mess of a Colin Cameron cross.
Gould let the ball slip from his grasp and Neilson only just failed to get on the end of the loose ball with the goalkeeper grounded.
A series of untidy fouls angered the Hearts fans but they were soon cheering.
Andy Kirk did well down the left wing and when his cross was cut out, Juanjo retrieved the ball quickest.
His turn on the goal-line fooled Vidar Riseth and the Norwegian caught Juanjo's trailing leg, leaving referee Kenny Clark no option but to award a penalty kick.
Colin Cameron duly sent Gould the wrong way from the spot to give Hearts a deserved lead with 36 minutes gone.
But the visitors got themselves back on level terms before the break with an excellently taken goal.
Johnson got the better of the Hearts defence on the right and his cross was neatly dummied by Thompson, allowing Crainey to rattle a superb left-foot shot into the far corner of the helpless Antti Niemi's net.
Jackie McNamara became the third Celtic player to be booked for a fairly innocuous trip just before half-time.
Hearts began the second half in a similarly determined fashion to the way in which they had played throughout the first.
Juanjo had their first shot of the second period, but Gould was never troubled.
Celtic youngster Jamie Smith showed good control to get in behind Petric but his final shot was miscued well wide.
Andy Kirk came agonisingly close to restoring Hearts' lead in 50 minutes when he sidestepped past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful left-foot shot.
The ball looked to be destined for the top corner before the much-maligned Gould stretched to make a superb save onto the crossbar.
Seemingly inspired by that, Celtic went up the other end and forced Niemi into an equally excellent save.
A cross from the right found the run of Smith whose shot was pushed away by the reflexes of Niemi.
Celtic had a claim for a penalty rightly dismissed shortly afterwards when Steven Pressley used his body strength to block the run of Smith, much to the displeasure of the visiting fans.
Jamie Smith made amends for his earlier miss on the hour-mark with a finely taken goal to put Celtic ahead.
Celtic seemed to be gaining in confidence while Hearts began to look a little ragged having played so well for much of the first hour.
But with a quarter of the game left, the home side pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
A flurry of excitement in the Celtic box saw Gould punch only half-clear but the attack came to nothing.
But Hearts kept pressing and when Kirk picked up the ball inside the box and juggled the ball past a couple of defenders, Joos Valgaeren stuck out an arm and Kenny Clark pointed to the spot once more.
Colin Cameron out-guessed Gould again to make the score 2-2 in what was turning into a pulsating game of football.
Tommy Johnson had a glorious chance to make it 3-2 with ten minutes to go, but with time and space to measure his shot, he blazed over the bar from the corner of the box.
Another penalty appeal by Celtic was turned down when Johnson tried to go past Pressley and the match headed for extra-time.
Celtic brought on Bobby Petta at the beginning of extra-time but it was Hearts who threatened first - Andy Kirk bursting forward from midfield almost threaded a dangerous ball through the Celtic defence before Healy slid in to avert the danger.
A cross from the right by Pressley found Cameron at the back post, and his header back across goal just evaded Kirk.
Kirk was denied by a fantastic save by Gould seven minutes into extra-time when he powered in a fierce effort at the back post only for the keeper to parry the ball away.
And minutes later, a third Celtic youngster was on the scoresheet courtesy of an aberration by Niemi.
Bobby Petta was relishing his task down the left side against tired Hearts legs and he set up Johnson whose left-foot shot was gathered by Niemi.
The Finnish internationalist dealt comfortably with another effort by sub Stilian Petrov.
Valgaeren should have made amends for conceding a penalty early in the second half of extra-time when he rose unchallenged to meet a corner kick, but his header came off the bar.
McNamara missed an excellent chance to put the game beyond Hearts when Moravcik put him in the clear, but he allowed the ball to run too far in front of him and Niemi was able to smother the ball.
Kirk had the ball in the net with seven minutes remaining but he was ruled offside as he turned and fired the ball past Gould.
But Moravcik did finish the game as a contest with three minutes left when Pressley and Neilson stood watching a Thompson cross and Moravcik slid in to make it 4-2.
And to add insult to injury, a long-range effort by McNamara took a slight deflection to carry the ball past Niemi in the 120th minute.
Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Murray, Locke, Flogel, Petric, Kirk, Fulton, Severin, Cameron, Tomaschek.
Subs: Juanjo, Milne, Neilson, O'Neil, McKenzie.
Celtic: Gould, Johnson, Healy, McNamara, Valgaeren, Stubbs, Moravcik, Thompson, Riseth, Crainey, Smith.
Subs: Boyd, Petta, Petrov, Mjallby, Kerr.
Referee: Kenny Clark
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