Date: 9th July 2016 at 11:56am
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A two-one win at Tynecastle followed up by a four-two win over FC Infonet in Tallin saw Hearts to a six-three aggregate win setting up a second qualifying round meeting with Maltese side Birkirkara.

The first leg, which came with Hearts having only had four-weeks off since the end of last season, had seen us ‘off the pace’ by Robbie Neilson’s own admission with the Estonian side going ahead through Jegveni Harin as he volleyed past Jack Hamilton.

Infonet, second in Estonian and midweek through their own domestic season, were only ahead for six-minutes before Prince Buaben’s penalty drew Hearts level with an own goal from Andrei Kalimullin giving the Jambos a first leg lead.

Hearts’ second leg in Tallin couldn’t have started better with Callum Paterson and Igor Rossi having us two-up inside 10-minutes adding a third through Alim Ozturk.

An Ozturk own goal saw Infonet get a goal back with Rossi’s second giving us breathing space again with it the hosts who had the last say with a goal from Vladimir Voskoboinikov but the match did end on a soar not when Jack Hamilton needed stitches when the ‘keeper was clattered into by Ofuso Appiah.

Neilson, quoted by the BBC, wasn’t happy with the challenge.

‘I was really disappointed with it and I think the referee got done. Jack’s got the ball in his hands and the boy comes in and smashes him then goes down and plays dead so he doesn’t get booked. These challenges shouldn’t be allowed in football. That wasn’t acceptable today.’

The main thing is we’ve advanced and will now face Birkirkara.

Between these Europa League qualification ties a youthful Hearts side drew one-one with Cowdenbeath in a friendly in Fife played at Central Park. A penalty from Dario Zanatta secured a draw after Kris Renton had scored in the first half for the home side.

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