Bruno the hero as Hearts go third
Hearts secured a third successive victory here at Inverness to go third in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League tonight. Bruno Aguiar netted a 22nd minute winner.
Csaba Laszlo made two changes to the side that defeated Hamilton at Tynecastle on Wednesday, with Stewart and Neilson returning to the starting line up.
The opening half saw both teams having chances to open the scoring early on which they failed to capitalise on. Hearts had an early scare when Christophe Berra went down in the box clutching his wrist fortunately he was able to continue after treatment.
Hearts seemed comfortable with their set-up. Jonsson drove down the wing on a number of occasions and linked up well with Christian Nade to pressure the Caley Thistle defence. The Hearts midfield was dominant.
Comeback king Bruno Aguiar opened the scoring on 22 minutes with another of his trademark low drilled shots. The Inverness defence seemed to give him the space to shoot and Bruno accepted the invitation and blasted the Jambos ahead.
The action sparked into life in the final five minutes of the half and Inverness seemed certain to equalise just on the stroke of half time, Barrowman beat Balogh and sent the ball goal bound. It ended up in the path of Rooney whose touch looked certain to nestle in the bottom corner but for Robbie Neilson, who was on hand to avert the goal on the line, to the delight of the cheering visiting fans.
Straight after that Inverness felt aggrieved again when they had a penalty claim waved away after a Lee Wallace challenge in the box. Hearts however went in at half time a goal to the good.
The teams returned from the break both searching for a goal to kick start the half. Christian Nade almost got on the score sheet with a powerful drive from just outside the box which forced a great save from Esson. The resulting corner fell perfectly for Andrew Driver who looped the ball towards the top right hand corner again forcing the save from Esson.
Andrew Driver then came close and but for Esson's agility, the winger would have lobbed the former Dons' keeper brilliantly from just outside the area.
Inverness pegged Hearts back more in the second period and made it difficult for the Jambos to play. The wind was playing havoc with the flight of the ball and majority of the time the ball missed the intended target. Balogh was called upon on a couple of occasions but generally looked comfortable.
Nade was involved in everything for Hearts as was Berra, so much so that they linked up well in attack and defence. The last quarter of the game was rather ugly and any chances either team had were scrappy to say the least. Balogh saved on the final whistle after a looping shot from Viguers.
Thrice is nice, as they say.
Inverness: Esson; Tokely, Duncan, Munro; Hastings; Wilson (Viguers 58), Black (McBain 17), Proctor, Imrie; Barrowman (Wood 63), Rooney. Subs not used: Fraser, McBain, McAllister, Sutherland, Duff.
Hearts: Balogh, Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace; Jonsson, Karipidis, Stewart, Driver (Obua 86); Aguiar, Nade (Makela 92). Subs not used: Palazuelos, Mole, Thomson, Brown, Kello.
Referee: Mike Tumilty
Top man: Christophe Berra
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