Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Rangers
Saturday 29th February 2020, KO 17:30 | William Hill Scottish Cup | Tynecastle Park
Hearts booked their spot in the semi finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup for the second year in-a-row with a deserved 1-0 win over Rangers.
The Jambos put in another impressive shift against the Glasgow side and justly rewarded when Ollie Bozanic sidefooted the winner with 58 minutes on the clock.
Daniel Stendel made four changes to the team that drew with Hamilton Accies two weeks ago Hamilton, with returns to the starting line-up for Oliver Bozanic, Conor Washington, Loic Damour and Lewis Moore.
An uneventful opening period saw little in the way of goalmouth action, with neither side troubling the other’s defence.
The Jam Tarts were dealt a blow in the 14th minute when John Souttar fell to the turf in agony, clutching his ankle. He was stretchered off to be replaced by Clevid Dikamona, with Daniel confirming at full time that the Scotland defender would likely miss the remainder of the season.
The game sprung into life in the 22nd minute. Some great passing at the edge of the visitors box saw Moore fire the ball goalwards from 18-yards out but Allan McGregor got down to save.
Hearts come close again after 25 minutes when Bozanic crossed into the box and found Steven Naismith whose looping header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by McGregor.
Washington and Bozanic then had a couple of half chances, before Ryan Jack’s fizzing volley flew a coupe of yards past Zdenek Zlamal’s right-hand post.
Things cranked up a notch in first half injury time. First, the men in maroon were denied a clear penalty when George Edmunson handled inside the box. Fro the resulting corner, the ball was in the back of the net but after some deliberation, referee Steven McLean disallowed it for a Damour handball.
Tynecastle erupted 13 minutes into the restart. James Tavernier failed to head back to McGregor, allowing Moore to latch onto the loose ball and round the Rangers keeper before cutting back for Bozanic to slam home from close range.
Hearts kept the pressure up and a few minutes later won a free kick 20 yards from goal, which Bozanic hit towards the top right hand corner only for McGregor to gather after first parrying the ball to the floor.
The visitors created a chance through Ryan Kent, who was played into the box before shooting from an angle but Zlamal did well to push the ball around the post.
It should’ve been 2-0 with 14 minutes remaining. A series is mishit Rangers clearances inside their own box saw the ball fall to Naismith, who beat McGregor to poke it goalwards, however the ball landed inches wide of the target.
Edmunson headed a brace of chances over the bar as the game neared its conclusion, but Hearts soaked up any pressure and never looked in danger of conceding as they saw out the game to win 1-0 and advance through to the competition’s final.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Souttar (Dikamona, 16'), Bozanic, Clare, Washington, Naismith, Damour, Halkett, Moore, Hickey. Subs: Pereira, Walker, Boyce, Irving, Henderson, Meshino.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Edmundson, Goldson, Jack (Hagi, 63'), Davis, Kent, Aribo, Stewart (Defoe, 67'), Barisic, Arfield (Ojo, 33'). Subs: Foderingham, Halliday, Kamara, Katic.
Referee: Steven McLean