Heart Of Midlothian 1 AEK Athens 2: Last-gasp Berra own goal leaves Hearts broken

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The Independent Football

Hearts' Champions' League aspirations were hanging by a thread last night after two late goals from AEK Athens in the first leg of this third-round qualifier at Murrayfield.

The home side went ahead in the 61st minute when midfielder Saulius Mikoliunas slammed the ball into the net from close range after Roman Bednar's shot rebounded off the post.

But four minutes later, Hearts midfielder Bruno Aguiar was sent off for two yellow cards - the second for kicking the ball away after his team conceded a free-kick.

The 10-man Edinburgh side were bravely holding on to a 1-0 lead until a minute from the end of normal time when Pantelis Kapetanos flicked a cross by substitute Stavros Tziortziopoulos past the helpless Craig Gordon.

And worse still, in a cruel finale, Christophe Berra deflected a shot from Nikolaos Lymperopoulos into his own net.

The Hearts head coach, Valdas Ivanauskas, said: "I am very angry, not about our performance, I'm angry about the referee. I think he made mistakes and the mistakes cost us the win."

Heart of Midlothian: Gordon; Neilson, Fyssas, Berra, Pressley, McCann, Mikoliunas, Aguiar, Karipidis, Bednar, Pospisil. Substitutes: Banks, Jankauskas, Beslija, Makela, Elliot, Wallace, Mole.

AEK Athens: Sorrentino; Pautasso, Dellas, Cirillo, Georgeas, Emerson, Ivic, Koutroumanos, Julio Cesar, Liberopoulos,

Kapetanos. Substitutes: Chiotis, Papaststhopoulos, Tziortziopoulos, Moras, Soares, Lakis, Tozser.

Referee: N Vollquartz (Denmark).

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