Scottish Premiership
Hearts1Dundee0

Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Dundee

Isma Goncalves scores Hearts' opener
Isma Goncalves scored his fifth goal for Hearts since arriving in January

Hearts ended a run of three straight defeats as Dundee's relegation fears deepened with a sixth straight loss.

Isma Goncalves raced onto Don Cowie's pass and fired home from a tight angle via a deflection off Darren O'Dea.

The hosts might have been further ahead by half-time but Arnaud Djoum's header was superbly saved by Scott Bain.

Dundee offered little but Jack Hamilton was forced to tip Tom Hateley's free-kick onto a post and Craig Wighton dragged a golden chance wide.

But it was far too little from Paul Hartley's side, who remain in ninth place, only a point above the relegation play-off spot.

Hearts remain in fifth place, five points behind St Johnstone, but only their second win in 10 games brought some relief to under-pressure head coach Ian Cathro.

A tense atmosphere seemed assured given the two sides' recent form, but the hosts - with midfielder Prince Buaben playing at centre-back - eased any early nerves in the 13th minute.

Portuguese striker Goncalves, playing up front on his own, eluded three Dundee defenders as he collected Cowie's threaded pass and swept the ball home for his fifth goal since arriving in January.

Hearts dominated the midfield and Dundee - with 19-year-old Daniel Higgins making his debut in defence - looked hesitant and nervy as the home side picked their passes at will.

Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum contests the ball with Dundee's James Vincent
Dundee battled hard but offered little threat in attack against a solid Hearts side

Dundee keeper Bain made a terrific save to throw himself to his left to push away a powerful Djoum header from six yards before the interval as Hearts kept up the relentless pressure.

But the visitors came close to a leveller a minute before half-time when Hateley's free-kick was pushed onto the post by Hamilton, who reacted quickly when the initial effort appeared to deceive him.

Wighton, just on as a substitute, wasted an unbelievable chance after 63 minutes when Hearts defenders Andraz Struna and Krystian Nowak both gave the ball away, but the striker appeared to kick the ball into the ground 14 yards out to send the ball spinning well wide.

Chances were limited in a scrappy second half but Bain made stops from Alexandros Tziolis and a deflected effort from Goncalves to keep the visitors' hopes alive.

But ultimately Dundee provided little threat up front and a sixth straight defeat sends them further into the relegation mire.

Post-match reaction:

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro: "It was a very important win. Towards the end it was about us getting over the line, given the situation we are in. We had to defend some long balls and direct play

"So it was an important step but it is only a small step and we want to move on very quickly and take the next one.

"I'd like us to be a little bit quicker and finish our attacks and make more chances. It was a really good save from Scott Bain that could have given us that second goal and allowed us a bit more control, so we'll try to be a bit more clinical in games.

"We're suffering from a lack of positive results; there are no other issues. We are strong together and the team are fighting hard and putting in a massive effort. There were still 16,000 hearts fans here and we want that demand and we want everyone to come with us."

Dundee boss Paul Hartley: "There wasn't a lot of quality in the game, it was a bit scrappy, but we felt if we stayed in the game, we could get something.

"Craig [Wighton] had an outstanding chance in the second half and that is the difference. When the chances come, you have got to take them and be clinical.

"I think he just choked on it a little bit, the ball got too close to his feet. He could probably have taken another touch because he was through on goal. But that will happen to him. He is still a young man and he will miss more chances throughout his career, so I won't be too critical.

"Our attitude was excellent, the shape was good defensively, the players are working ever so hard and they are not getting the breaks. They don't mean to make mistakes, they are only human. It isn't nice where we are, but keep performing like that for six games and we will be fine."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 24Smith
  • 8Buaben
  • 19Nowak
  • 27Struna
  • 15Cowie
  • 6Kitchen
  • 10Sutchuin-DjoumSubstituted forMartinat 60'minutes
  • 4Tziolis
  • 7WalkerSubstituted forCurrieat 64'minutes
  • 77Esmael GonçalvesSubstituted forJohnsenat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Avlonitis
  • 13Noring
  • 16El Ouriachi
  • 20Johnsen
  • 22Beith
  • 30Currie
  • 88Martin

Dundee

  • 1Bain
  • 45Higgins
  • 6O'Dea
  • 3Holt
  • 7Hateley
  • 18McGowan
  • 4Vincent
  • 14O'Hara
  • 30KerrBooked at 36mins
  • 22OjamaaSubstituted forWightonat 59'minutes
  • 21Haber

Substitutes

  • 12Mitchell
  • 17Ross
  • 25Dryden
  • 33Wighton
  • 54Smith
  • 55Gomis
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
16,304

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home12
Away3
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home10
Away0
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Dundee 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Dundee 0.

Attempt missed. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Bjorn Johnsen replaces Esmael Gonçalves.

Attempt missed. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Foul by Malaury Martin (Heart of Midlothian).

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James Vincent (Dundee).

Foul by Rory Currie (Heart of Midlothian).

Daniel Higgins (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Rory Currie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom Hateley (Dundee).

Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Vincent (Dundee).

Foul by Liam Smith (Heart of Midlothian).

Cameron Kerr (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Rory Currie (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Daniel Higgins.

Attempt blocked. Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Daniel Higgins.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Rory Currie replaces Jamie Walker.

Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daniel Higgins (Dundee).

Attempt missed. Craig Wighton (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Malaury Martin replaces Arnaud Sutchuin-Djoum.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Craig Wighton replaces Henrik Ojamaa.

Foul by Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian).

Cameron Kerr (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Arnaud Sutchuin-Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Mark O'Hara.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Cameron Kerr.

Foul by Krystian Nowak (Heart of Midlothian).

Marcus Haber (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian).

Marcus Haber (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half

Second Half begins Heart of Midlothian 1, Dundee 0.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic32293085206590
2Aberdeen31204761243764
3Rangers31141074334952
4St Johnstone32147114338549
5Hearts32128125143844
6Partick Thistle321011113536-141
7Kilmarnock32713123049-1934
8Ross County32711143552-1732
9Dundee3286183351-1830
10Hamilton32514132848-2029
11Motherwell3278173459-2529
12Inverness CT32413153458-2425
View full Scottish Premiership table

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