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Kisnorbo the king of Hearts

Thursday, 16 September 2004

[1] An added-time strike by Patrick Kisnorbo ensured Heart of Midlothian FC will travel to Portugal with a healthy first-leg lead.

Late goal

[2] Hearts had taken a two-goal lead thanks to second-half goals from Andy Webster and Paul Hartley before Braga hit back through a Paulo Sérgio header. However, Hearts - who were playing at the home of Scottish rugby, Murrayfield, because their Tynecastle ground does not meet UEFA pitch requirements - will feel they have every chance of progressing after their late third.

Stamp surprise

[3] The home side sprang a surprise by playing midfielder Phil Stamp in an unusual striker's role due to the club's chronic injury list. And Stamp's strike partner Mark de Vries almost help set up the opener in the third minute when he chested Robbie Nielson's cross into the path of Jamie McAllister whose volley was only centimetres wide.

Desperate block

[4] The Portuguese side's first attempt did not fall until the 20th minute when Paulo Sérgio blazed over the crossbar. Hearts were denied an opportunity to take the lead in the 35th minute when José Nunes brought down De Vries just as he was set to collect Stamp's pass outside the box. But at the other end, it took a desperate block from Webster to deflect Wender's long-range effort wide before Hartley then forced a fine save from Paulo Santos with a volley from the edge of the box.

Opening goal

[5] Hearts took a deserved lead six minutes into the second half when Hartley's cross was nodded by De Vries to Webster who headed in from point-blank range. And they nearly doubled their advantage four minutes later when De Vries set up the onrushing Stamp and his shot smashed into the stanchion behind the goal. The hosts made it two in the 62nd minute with a move started and finished by Hartley. The midfield player broke free, fed Nielson on the right, then brilliantly volleyed his return cross into the net.

Spectacular save

[6] But just as Murrayfield was still celebrating, Braga hit back two minutes later when Paulo Sérgio headed in from close range. Braga could then have scored an equaliser only for home goalkeeper Craig Gordan to pull off a spectacular save from Braga substitute João Tomas's 25-metre strike. However, Hearts put themselves firmly in the driving seat for the return on 30 September when Kisnorbo controlled Hartley's corner before scoring with a powerful effort.

Braga's Paulo Sérgio with Hearts's Marc de Vries