What a night it was for Hearts, who defeated RFS in Riga by a score of 2-0 to recover from their humiliating loss to Istanbul Basaksehir the week prior.
After a run of disappointing performances, the men in maroon traveled to Latvia for their second Europa Conference League group stage match, but they returned to Edinburgh with their first points of the season.
After missing time due to injury, Craig Halkett was reinstated to the lineup by Robbie Neilson, but after 20 minutes, he was forced to be replaced by 19-year-old Lewis Neilson. The young man was outstanding because he handled the pressure well.
After 43 minutes, Lawrence Shankland scored from the penalty spot to give the game its first goal. Second-half pressure paid off when Alan Forrest earned a second goal in stoppage time.
In Scottish Premiership action on Sunday, Hearts travels to Motherwell for a doubleheader with Fiorentina just around the corner.
Right here, you can relive the entire event.
KEY EVENTS ON THE DAILY! RFS 0 – 2 Hearts GOAL at 21:54! 21:52 RFS 0 Hearts 2 RESUME! 21:05:26 RFS 1, 22:26:26 Hearts Richard Copeland WHERE DOES THE TABLE APPEAR? a little bit healthier
22:10 Richard Copeland NEILSON DIALOGUES First and foremost, I’m happy for the supporters. There were 2,000 of them, and they have advanced considerably.
They saw us finish second in the group, which is awesome.
Enjoy your fantastic evening; but, we must travel to Fir Park on Sunday, so let’s keep an eye on it.
21:54 EVENT KEY FULL-TIME HEARTS 2 RFS 0 And Hearts in Riga now has three points. Excellent work by the team of Robbie Neilson.
Lawrence Shankland’s penalty gave the Scottish team a lead at the break, and Alan Forrest’s cool-headed goal in extra time of the second half sealed the triumph.
KEY EVENT GOAL AT 21:52! HEARTS 2 RFS 0 What a Hearts counterattack as Alan Forrest scores again to give the Gorgie team the three points.
Really calmly executed at a tight angle by the sub.
21:50 Richard Hanratty ADDED FOUR MINUTES The first of the extra four minutes has begun.
Can Hearts weather a late RFS hurricane?
21:49 Richard Hanratty RUNNING RIOT IN BASAKSEHIR It appears as though Istanbul Basaksehir might be fleeing with this bunch. They now lead Fiorentina 3-0 at home.
The Turkish team has scored seven goals without answering.
21:47 Richard Hanratty HEART FANS SENDER SUCCESS Fans of 1000 Hearts who are in town are vocal and pleasant. They are close to winning, but RFS have a history of leaving things too late.
The remaining usual time is two minutes.
21:45 Throwing Everything at It is hosted by Robbie Hanratty. Meanwhile, RFS has increased its urgency. They are trying to save a point, but time is running out.
21:44 Robbie Hanratty IS JUST A SLIGHTLY QUICK COUNTER Stephen Humphrys launches a lightning-quick counterattack and is nearly through for a shot at goal when he is halted in his tracks.
Robbie Hanratty 21:41 INTO FINAL 10 Hearts have fewer than 10 minutes to make sure they return to Scotland with all three points.
Is it about to become game management time?
Robbie Hanratty RFS BOSS SENT OFF at 21:39 Viktors Morozs, the manager of RFS, was summoned to the stands as a result of something shouted on the touchline among all of that.
Robbie Hanratty’s DOUBLE HEARTS CHANGE at 21:39
Despite Josh Ginnelly’s tireless efforts, his night is finished. For Stephen Humphrys and Alan Forrest, he and Lawrence Shankland leave.
21:37 Richard Hanratty SWITCH LEAD The following shot on goal belongs to Andy Halliday, but the keeper relies on his love drive to make a living.
When they get going, hearts have a terrifying appearance. Although they are producing lots of chances, they will be cautious if their lead is only one goal.
Robbie Hanratty is unlucky at 21:36 Before Hearts promptly break and Lawrence Shankland is denied by Pavels Steinbors because his shot was just too close to the RFS keeper, Gordon makes a point blank save.
21:33 Richard Hanratty THE GOALIE IS DOING WHAT? Outside of the penalty area, Craig Gordon makes an unnecessary handball with the ball.
He is given a warning for his actions and gives up a free kick in a dangerous area.
Robbie Hanratty @ 21:32: FIORENTINA DOWN ONE. Istanbul Basaksehir leads Fiorentina 2-0 in another group match.
Wearing a brace is Serdar Gurler.
21:30 Haring Robbie Hanratty enters the fray Jorge Grant is changed for Peter Haring, and Robbie Neilson makes a change.
identical in the middle of the field.
21:26 Richard Hanratty WIDE HEADED With a glancing header, Andrej Ilic misses the target by a whisker. As we approach the last 20 minutes, this is the end of the line.
21:23 Richard Hanratty RF Squeezes By With One Jorge Grant makes a poor gamble at the back post, allowing RFS to get away with it as Pavel Steinbors struggles with another crossball.
GOAL RULED OUT at 21:22 by Robbie Hanratty
Lawrence Shankland successfully chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to put it in the net.
The flag goes up, though, since the striker is charged with offside.
Robbie Hanratty 21:19 RFS DOUBLE CHANGE The hosts replace Thomas Simkovic and Jovan Vlalukin.
Vladislavs Sorokins and Kevin Friesenbichler take their seats.
21:16 Richard Hanratty Josh Ginnelly nearly sent a pinpoint ball in the penalty area, but Lawrence Shankland was tripped up and was unable to respond.
From Hearts, much better!
Robbie Hanratty 21:15 NOT FOR ONCE SHORT So far in this second half, there have been a ton of corners.
This time, Alex Cochrane throws it directly into the box for Hearts, but the RFS defender is there first to clear it.
Robbie Hanratty at 21:13 NEXT TO NEXT CORNERS After surviving two straight RFS corner kicks, Hearts is attacking at the other end.
Robbie Hanratty 21:10 WORTH TRYING Following a fantastic through ball from Barrie McKay, Lawrence Shankland tries his luck, but his volley misses the target.
21:09 Richard Hanratty NOT WORKING SHORT CORNERS A corner is won by Hearts at the other end. Once more, Alex Cochrane takes it, but it’s brief.
The ball that was floated toward the back post is moving away as RFS has everyone back.
21:07 CLEARED Robbie Hanratty Emerson’s ball into the box is read effectively by Stephen Kingsley.
He’s been the major danger to RFS tonight.
21:05 KEY EVENT RECOMMENCES! HEARTS 1 RFS 0 Back on the road in Riga!
WILL MOROZS CHANGE THINGS AT 21:00 Robbie Hanratty?
RFS will be seeking an equalizer and regretting both hitting the goal posts and missing a significant opportunity in the first half.
But they’ve demonstrated that they pose a threat, so I wouldn’t dismiss them just yet.
20:55 Robbie Hanratty GINNELLY’S EVENTFUL FIRST 45