Match Report: Hearts 0-0 Wolfsburg
Heart of Midlothian 0-0 Wolfsburg
Hearts settled for a share of the spoils against Bundesliga side Wolfsburg at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
On a cold evening at Tynecastle it was the German giants who maintained most of the possession, but ultimately neither side could break down the other's defence.
Gary Locke afforded starting berths to Mark Ridgers and Adam King, as a relatively strong Hearts side started against the team who defeated Borussia Dortmund four days previously.
The Jambos started brightly and almost got in front with a well worked free kick after only two minutes. Jamie Hamill lined up to shoot from 20 yards but instead slipped in Ryan Stevenson, who had made an arched run around the back of the Wolfsburg wall, but his shot was drilled into the side netting.
Though neither side threatened the other's goal too much, the Jam Tarts certainly held their own against their Bundesliga opponents.
That good work almost came undone in the 35th minute however, when Daniel Caligiuri was upended in the box by Danny Wilson. Referee Brian Colvin pointed to the spot, but Caligiuri blasted his penalty way over the bar.
Ryan Stevenson, scorer of long range efforts, clearly fancied his chances from distance at a windy Tynecastle and he lashed an effort just wide of Grun's right hand post in the 39th minute.
Wolfsburg's Stefan Kutschke had a shot of his own from the edge of the box a minute later, but he couldn't angle his effort on target.
The second half started with a bang as Willi Evseev curled a shot from 18 yards but Ridgers did well to fling himself across the goal and palm the ball round the post.
The Hearts 'keeper was on inspired form as he looked to make the most of his opportunity between the sticks. He made a brilliant block in the 57th minute from the first time volley of Bas Dost.
By this point the visitors were looking more dangerous with every attack With 69 minutes gone Dustin Eilers dispossessed substitute Angus Beith and middled for Kutschke, but he shot wildly over the bar from inside the box.
The Jambos had chances of their own, and Brad McKay found himself in space in the box when Jamie Hamill whipped in a cross on 71 minutes, but the centre half's header nestled nicely in Grun's arms.
Inspired, Jamie Walker ran at the opposition defence and fired a shot across goal from 18 yards, but Wolfsburg 'keeper Grun plucked the ball out of the air and held on safely.
Wolfsburg should've taken the lead with fourteen minutes remaining. Evseev showed quick feet to burst away from his marker inside the box but he couldn't hit the target from a tight angle.
Following a raft of substitutions, Jack Hamilton found himself in the thick of the action on his first team debut. He did brilliantly well to block an Evseev shot from close range at his near post with four minutes to go.
No goals apiece is how the match finished, as 5,535 supporters paid through the gate to raise funds for the Heart and soul of Edinburgh.
Hearts: Ridgers (Hamilton, 84'); McKay, McGowan, Wilson (Beith, 46'), Hamill; Smith (B. King, 54'), A. King (Nicholson, 70'), Tapping, Walker (Carrick, 80'); Robinson; Stevenson (Oliver, 80').
Wolfsburg: Grun, Ochs, Schafer, Klose, Caligiuri, Dost (Eilers, 59'), Lopes (Sprenger, 59'), Polak, Kutschke, Evseev, Seguin (Medojevic, 67'). Subs not used: Drewes, Poggenberg, Naldo.
Referee: Brian Colvin
Top man: Mark Ridgers
Today on HeartsTV - EXCLUSIVE post-match reaction from Gary Locke.