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<-Page <-Team Wed 31 Oct 2007 Celtic 0 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Lisa Gray auth-> Kenny Clark
4 of 007 Andrius Velicka 77 ;Andrius Velicka 86 LC A

Celtic 0 Hearts 2

By Lisa Gray, PA Sport Chief Scottish Football Writer

Celtic were sent crashing out of the CIS Insurance Cup as Hearts booked their place in the semi-finals.

A late double from substitute Andrius Velicka sealed the win after both teams had produced an uninspiring match at Parkhead.

Just 21,492 fans made the trip to the east end of Glasgow and those Celtic fans who stayed away would have been grateful to be spared the sight of their team passing up any chance of claiming the first silverware of the season.

The SPL title may be the ultimate prize but both Celtic and Rangers had this week emphasised their desire to claim the CIS Insurance Cup and Gordon Strachan named a strong side.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was back in the team after recovering from a hamstring strain, while Massimo Donati was also drafted into the starting XI. Chris Killen had to settle for a place on the bench while Shunsuke Nakamura missed out through injury.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Hearts line-up was that goalkeeper Anthony Basso kept his place between the sticks after the 3-1 defeat at Kilmarnock at the expense of Steve Banks, who yet again did not even make the squad.

Andrius Ksanavicius and Calum Elliot replaced Juho Makela and the suspended Christian Nade and Ksanavicius was involved in the action immediately went he went to ground in the first couple of minutes.

The Lithuanian appeared to be barged by Gary Caldwell but referee Kenny Clark was unimpressed and no spot-kick was given.

Aiden McGeady then had a decent chance for Celtic at the other end when he embarked on a surging run down the left flank before firing across the face of goal and wide.

The official was clearly unimpressed by the antics of Ksnavicius, who picked up the first booking of the match with just six minutes gone for diving in the box.

Hearts continued to press and were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area for a John Kennedy challenge on Ruben Palazuelos but Michael Stewart's curling effort dipped just over the crossbar.

Both sides continued to push for the opener and Christophe Berra fired well over from distance before Scott McDonald drew a save from Basso with a point-blank shot.

McDonald then had a great chance when he pounced on a McGeady ball and cut into the box from the left, only to chip a yard over the crossbar.

Celtic could have snatched the lead just before the break when Paul Hartley played a short free-kick to Scott Brown and he forced an excellent save from Basso, the Hearts goalkeeper tipping just over at full stretch to keep the scoreline level at half-time.

Lee Naylor appeared to be holding his ribs earlier in the game and he was withdrawn for Evander Sno at the interval, with Hartley switching to left-back.

Basso denied the home side again within seconds of the restart when he somehow kept a ferocious McDonald shot out of the net with his feet.

Sno was fortunate not concede a penalty at the other end after clattering into Elliot, before passing up one of the best chances of the night when he latched onto a Brown pass only to blast over when it looked so much easier to leave the net bulging.

Vennegoor of Hesselink had had little impact on the game and he was replaced by Killen with 20 minutes to go, while Hearts swapped Elliot for Velicka.

And the substitute turned the game on its head when he grabbed the opener in controversial circumstances with 76 minutes gone, lashing home a superb cut-back from Andrew Driver despite claims the ball had gone out of play.

McGeady then appeared to handle the ball in the box but nothing was given before Hearts confirmed their place in Thursday's semi-final draw when Velicka bagged his second of the night with a superb 20-yard shot with five minutes to go.


Celtic Boruc, Caldwell, Kennedy, McManus, Naylor (Sno 46),McGeady, Scott Brown, Donati, Hartley, McDonald,Vennegoor of Hesselink (Killen 72).

Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Jarosik, O'Brien.

Hearts Basso, Neilson, Berra, Tall, Goncalves, Palazuelos,Zaliukas (Jonsson 64), Stewart, Driver, Elliot (Velicka 74),Ksanavicius (Mikoliunas 89).

Subs Not Used: Kurskis, Wallace.

Booked: Ksanavicius.

Goals: Velicka 77, 86.

Att: 21,492

Ref: K Clark (Scotland).

Taken from

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