Match Reports

Dundee 3-2 Hearts

23rd December 2016

Hearts stunned by dramatic Dundee comeback.


Hearts were beaten 3-2 by Dundee in a dramatic match at Dens Park.

The Jambos went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Jamie Walker and Callum Paterson, but the Dees produced an unlikely comeback with Darren O’Dea and Paul McGowan goals, before Marcus Haber headed the winner deep into injury time.

Ian Cathro made one change from the side that drew with Partick Thistle last week. Krystian Nowak was handed his Hearts debut in the place of the injured Prince Buaben.

The Jambos were handed the perfect opportunity to take the lead after only three minutes. Bjorn Johnsen twisted into the box and fed Walker who was brought down from behind by Kevin Holt, and Walker dusted himself down to send Scott Bain the wrong way and give Hearts the lead.

Debut boy Nowak nearly doubled the lead three minutes later, hitting a sweet left-foot volley that just shaved the post, however the Pole was flagged for offside.

Hearts were completely dominant as the game reached the ten-minute mark. John Souttar chipped a delightful ball forward for Walker to latch onto and his low drive was turned around the post by Bain.

Dundee passed up a good chance in the 26th minute when Craig Wighton capatalised on a Nowak slip to cutback for James Vincent at the edge of the box, but he ballooned his effort well over the bar.

Paterson almost made it 2-0 after 34 minutes. He connected with Don Cowie’s corner but his bullet header was brilliantly saved by Bain.

Moments later Johnsen was slipped through but under pressure from two blue shirts could only fire straight at Bain from just inside the box.

Souttar was next to test the Dundee ‘keeper, advancing forward and striking a thunderbolt from 20-yards but Bain pushed it wide.

Lightning struck twice as Hearts scored within three minutes of the restart. Cowie’s free-kick was floated into the box for Paterson to rise highest and nod into the bottom left corner of the net.

Ten minutes later Dundee halved the deficit. Hearts failed to clear a free-kick and O’Dea drilled low from inside the box into Jack Hamilton’s bottom left corner.

The Jambos should’ve put the game to bed in the 57th minute. Johnsen sprung the offside trap to cut back for Walker, who skipped away from his man only to blast clean over the bar from 12-yards out.

The match was stopped for around seven minutes when Cowie was flattened by Bain inside the box, for which no penalty was given. The midfielder lay motionless and was eventually stretchered off the park to replaced by Robbie Muirhead.

The long break affected Hearts’ play and disaster struck in the 62nd minute. Vincent weaved inside the box and found substitute Paul McGowan, who slotted beyond Hamilton from close range.

Dundee could’ve won it in the 89th minute when Wighton had a free header inside the box, but he could only nod straight at Hamilton.

Three minutes added time the hosts grabbed the winner. Tom Hateley’s free kick was met by Haber, who bulleted a header past Hamilton to put Dundee 3-2 up.

Dundee: Bain, Holt, Vincent, O'Dea, Hateley, O'Hara (McGowan, 53'), Haber, Gadzhalov, Kerr, Wighton, Gomis (Etxabeguren, 46'). Subs: Mitchell, Williams, Ross, El Bakhataoui, Loy.

Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, L.Smith (Rherras, 90'), Kitchen, Cowie (Muirhead, 64'), Nowak, Walker (Watt, 90'), Djoum, Johnsen. Subs: Noring, Ozturk, Sammon, Zanatta.

Ref: Kevin Clancy

Top Man: Jamie Walker