Rosa leaves Hearts' European ambitions in ruins

Heart of Midlothian 0 - Ferencvaros 1
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The Independent Football

Hearts' interest in the Uefa Cup ended last night on a very flat note at Murrayfield as they fell to defeat by Ferencvaros to finish bottom in Group A.

Hearts' interest in the Uefa Cup ended last night on a very flat note at Murrayfield as they fell to defeat by Ferencvaros to finish bottom in Group A.

While part of the equation that Hearts required for progress depended on the result of Basle's game, John Robertson's side knew that they needed a victory of their own in front of another large Murrayfield crowd.

The pressure on Ferencvaros was intense with Paul Hartley going close with a shot that was pushed wide by the goalkeeper Lajos Szucs, who then punched Jamie McAllister's free-kick over the bar.

When, for his next trick, Szucs denied Michael Stewart with his legs, he inspired his team to conjure up their own threat. Ferencvaros scored against the run of play after 29 minutes when Peter Lipcsei released Denes Rosa, and though Craig Gordon saved twice from the midfielder, Rosa buried his third attempt.

Szucs rode his luck in the 52nd minute when Stewart was released by de Vries and the goalkeeper spilled the midfielder's shot and Gabor Gyepes cleared before Weir could finish off the rebound.

The organisation of Ferencvaros at the back was impeccable but their discipline was not. The Hungarians picked up five yellow cards in a second half littered with fouls.

Hearts went for broke in the final stages by bringing on Dennis Wyness, who scored in Basle last month, and Kevin McKenna before Steven Pressley's downward header bounced narrowly wide.

The evening had promised much, with the Scottish Premier League side hoping to take third place, but victory for Basle against Feyenoord coupled with Rosa's first-half goal in Edinburgh, ended Hearts' hopes of progressing into the last 32.

Heart of Midlothian (4-4-2): Gordon; Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Maybury; Stewart, Hartley, Kisnorbo (Wyness, 71), McAllister (Pereira, 62); Weir (McKenna, 79), de Vries. Substitutes not used: Moilanen (gk), Hamill, Berra, MacFarlane.

Ferencvaros (4-4-2): Szucs; Rosa, Balog, Gyepes, De Almeida; Vukmir, Zavadsky, Lipcsei, Tozser (Huszti, 50); Bajevski (Takacs, 87), Penksa (Sowunmi, 65). Substitutes not used: Udvaracz (gk), Szkukalek, Somorjai, Bognar.

Referee: L Paniashvili (Georgia).

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