Football: Hearts still beating thanks to Quitongo

Hearts 1 Celtic 1
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The Independent Online
Right at the death, Hearts' Angolan winger Jose Quitongo kept their title hopes alive by squeezing home an equaliser to earn them a point and leave a three-way tie between themselves, Rangers and Celtic at the top of the table.

Both these sides were hoping to capitalise on Rangers draw with Dunfermline the day before and if Celtic had taken just a few of the numerous chances they created they would today be outright leaders of the Premier Division and Quitongo's goal nothing more than a consolation to Hearts.

After Jonathan Gould had saved well from Colin Cameron the Celtic midfield took a grip of the game to serve up a series of chances. Stephano Salvatori was forced to clear from his own line and in the 11th minute Morten Weighorst shot into the net to have his goal disallowed for a foul.

Alan Stubbs saw a shot come back off a post and Henrik Larsson was denied by Paul Ritchie.

Celtic finally took advantage of their overall supremacy by taking the lead in the 40th minute. Larsson appeared to be fouled in the penalty area, but the ball broke to Jackie McNamara whose low shot found the net.

Celtic continued to dominate in the second half and should have had a return from Harald Brattbakk, their Norwegian striker, who was twice sent clear. Hearts rallied with David Weir forcing Gould into a fine save six minutes from time and Stephane Maahe having a shot pushed on to the bar, before finally Quitongo struck.

Goals: McNamara (40) 0-1; Quitongo (90) 1-1.

Hearts (4-4-2): McKenzie; Weir, McPherson, Ritchie, Naysmith; Locke, Salvatori (Quitongo, 64), Fulton, McCann; Adam (Hamilton 80), Cameron (Flogel, 80).

Celtic (3-5-2): Gould; Annoni, Rieper, Stubbs; McNamara, Burley, Lambert, Wieghorst, Maahe; Larsson, Brattbakk (Jackson, 84).

Referee: B Tate (East Kilbride).

Bookings: Hearts: Naysmith, Ritchie. Celtic: Burley, Lambert, Annoni.

Attendance: 17,657.

Man of the match: McNamara.

Dundee yesterday sacked their manager, John McCormack, with his side five points clear at the top of the First Division. The club's former manager, Jim Duffy, sacked last week by Hibernian, is thought to be a possible target.

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