First team

The Hearts go marching on

17 August 2023

Cammy Devlin’s dramatic stoppage time winner was enough to send Hearts into the Europa Conference League playoff round after the Jambos came from behind to defeat Rosenborg 3-1 on a memorable night at Tynecastle.


There were three changes from the side that faced Kilmarnock on Sunday. Alex Cochrane, Aidan Denholm and Liam Boyce came in to the starting XI as the injured Peter Haring, Alex Lowry and Kyosuke Tagawa dropped out.


It was a crazy start at an absolutely rocking Tynecastle. The visitors took the lead inside four minutes. Zander Clark did well to save Ísak Thorvaldsson’s initial header, but when the ball rebounded back to Rosenborg’s number 17, his low strike found the back of the net. 


Normally, an away goal like that can silence the home fans, but it didn’t on this occasion and Hearts almost levelled four minutes later. Lawrence Shankland found space in the box and his neat through ball picked out Yutaro Oda, his shot had André Hansen beaten, but the post came to the Norwegian’s rescue.


Just three minutes later, the men in maroon did restore parity. Stephen Kingsley’s intelligent pass down the left found Shankland, who had made a very clever early run. Bearing down on Hansen, the Hearts number nine kept his composure to dink the ball over the stopper as Tynecastle erupted.


The Jambos almost completed the comeback after 27 minutes. Shankland took a smart first touch round the corner to spin away from his man, and his attempted cross for Boyce, was deflected towards goal, but Hansen produced an instinctive save with his feet to keep the scores level.


The game was being played at a frantic pace, but there hadn’t been too many chances in the early exchanges, despite the two goals.


The men in maroon were enjoying plenty of possession and they created two further openings before half-time. Firstly, Stephen Kingsley made ground down the left and crossed for Kye Rowles, who headed just over. Before Alex Cochrane tried his luck from the edge of the box, but Hansen got down well low to his right to keep the scores level at the break.


Half-time Hearts 1-1 Rosenborg


The Jambos survived an early scare at the start of the second half when an attempted clearance caused a bit of pinball in the Hearts box, thankfully, Nathaniel Atkinson was on hand to clear the ball off the line.


In his pre-match press conference, Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy had said Hearts would have to be patient to find the goal that would level the tie and it arrived four minutes into the second half.


Liam Boyce took two Rosenborg defenders out the game by chopping inside, before unleashing a powerful strike which was somehow kept out by Hansen, but charging in on the rebound was Cammy Devlin who side-footed the ball high into the roof of the net to level the aggregate scores.


The game continued to be played at an extremely fast pace, but there weren’t many clear-cut chances at either end following Devlin’s goal, as the final ball began to evade both teams in the closing stages.


And just as it was looking like extra-time would be required, up popped Cammy Devlin to win it in stoppage time. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he couldn’t ignore the crowd’s shouts to shoot, and his effort took a huge deflection, completely wrong-footing Hansen as the roof came off Tynecastle.


Devlin was substituted shortly after to a standing ovation. His goal sends the men in maroon marching on to the playoff round.


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Shankland ©, Boyce (Forrest, 65), Oda (McKay, 46), Atkinson, Devlin, Rowles, Cochrane (Sibbick, 90), Denholm (Tagawa, 65)


Subs: McGovern, McFarlane, Grant, Nieuwenhof, Halliday, Forrest, McKay, Sibbick, Tait, Tagawa, Lowry


Rosenborg: Hansen, Reitan ©, Børkeeiet, Holse, Frederiksen, Thorvaldsson, Pereira, Skarsem, Jenssen, Andersson, Nypan


Subs: Tangvk, Skjelbred, Väänänen, Rogers, Røsten, Tagseth, Wiedesheim-Paul, Cornic, Holte