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Istanbul Buyuks 3 – 1 Hearts

Hearts’ Europa Conference League campaign ended in defeat when Robbie Neilson’s side lost 3-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir.

In Group A’s final game in Turkey, Youssouf Ndayishimiye headed in a corner after just four minutes and as the visitors played their way back into the game, they fell further behind on a goal by Serdar Gurler in the 33rd minute on a foul from the goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Substitute Berkay Ozcan drove in a third in the 64th minute, with Hearts defender Nathaniel Atkinson scoring a consolation goal in the 90th minute.

The home side, who had won 4-0 at Tynecastle in September, finished top of Group A with Fiorentina as second-placed.

With a number of key players still injured and Harten in third place not having a chance to break out of the group, it was a much changed team that started the game.

But Gordon kept his spot in goal, meaning he equaled the records of fellow goalkeeper Henry Smith and ex-skipper Steven Pressley by playing 22 appearances in European competition for the club.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 03: Hearts' Barrie McKay (R) and Robbie Neilson full-time during a UEFA Europa Conference League match between Istanbul Basaksehir and Hearts at Ba..ak..ehir Fatih Terim Stadium, on November 3, 2022, in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts’ Barrie McKay and manager Robbie Neilson cheer supporters after defeat

Gordon’s goal was soon threatened by Basaksehir, with Stefano Okaka pushing a shot past the post from 12 yards after 90 seconds.

The Edinburgh side ignored the warning and shortly afterwards Ndayishimiye had all the time and space he needed to pass the helpless Gordon from a corner of Deniz Turuc.

Hearts reacted impressively as Euan Henderson drove over from 20 yards as the visitors put pressure on their hosts all over the field. But just after half an hour, Gordon rushed off his goal to prevent Okaka from reaching the end of a long ball and failed to connect properly, allowing Gurler to take his time before firing into the net past defender Toby Sibbick, who had pulled back in line.

Basaksehir got off to a strong start in the second half and when defender Alex Cochrane lost possession on a Gordon goalkeeper throw, Omer Ali Sahiner got Ozcan to get his feet together before hammering the ball high into the net.

Hearts went on to try and score a goal to give their traveling fans a little cheer and they got it in the 90th minute when keeper Muhammed Sengezer parried a shot from Lawrence Shankland with Atkinson in hand to tap the ball into the net.

What’s next?

hearts have three more games in the Scottish Premiership before the World Cup. they host Motherwell on Sunday; kick off at 3 p.m. They then travel to rangers on Wednesday 9 November; kick off at 7:45 PM.

Their last game before the break is on Saturday, November 12, when Hearts host Livingston; kick off at 3 p.m.

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