Scottish Championship
HeartsHeart of Midlothian2RangersRangers2

Heart of Midlothian 2-2 Rangers

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport at Tynecastle

Two late goals by substitute Genero Zeefuik earned a point for champions Hearts against Rangers, who will have to come through six play-off games if they are to escape the Championship.

Darren McGregor headed the determined visitors in front in 32 minutes and Kenny Miller turned in Rangers' second.

Hearts had a penalty claim refused when keeper Cammy Bell up-ended Osman Sow.

The home side sent on Genero Zeefuik who, with a header and a low strike from six yards, drew his team level.

Even if Zeefuik had not scored that 90th-minute leveller, Rangers would still have been playing Queen of the South in the Premiership play-off quarter-final because Hibernian's 3-0 win at Falkirk meant the Easter Road club clinched second place.

James Fowler's Queens side lost 1-0 at Livingston but they had already secured fourth and they will host Stuart McCall's team at Palmerston next Saturday in the first leg.

With the home fans in party mood, the referee spent most of the first few minutes bursting the maroon balloons that had blown on to the pitch from the packed stands.

Once they had been dealt with, the teams locked horns with the urgency and ferocity that the fans were hoping for.

And it was the home side who should have drawn first blood after 10 minutes. Jamie Walker skipped past a ragged Rangers defence to find himself one on one with Bell, but the goalkeeper did well to block at the youngster's feet.

Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand
Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand for his protests at Hearts not being awarded a penalty

This was a warning to the visitors that this was a Hearts side determined to finish off the season on a high before lifting the trophy after the final whistle.

Hearts continued to dominate but their determination to break the deadlock resulted in a yellow card for the Swedish striker Sow, who was booked for throwing himself to the floor inside the box.

At this stage, Rangers were limited to launching sporadic attacks but when they did creep over the halfway line, Nicky Law and Haris Vuckic looked lively, the latter coming close just before the half hour but his angled effort could only find the side netting.

Just as Hearts were settling into their own dominance, Rangers took the lead. Nicky Law curled in a free-kick from 25 yards out on the left-hand side and McGregor rose to power home a header high past Scott Gallacher and silence the maroon hordes.

Hearts had another penalty claim involving Sow shortly afterwards. Bell dived at the striker's feet, who again took a tumble, but referee Callum Murray waved play on. Neilson was sent to the stand for his protests.

But as he was taking his seat, Rangers were taking control as they scored a second through Miller.

The striker turned in from six yards out after Richard Foster clipped in a tantalising cross from the right and the 2,000 travelling Rangers fans danced with delight, radios tuned to events elsewhere.

The half-time whistle brought little respite to the Hearts' rage as the players remonstrated with the referee, still furious at his decision not to give them a spot kick.

Walker, Hearts' player of the year, tried to pull them back into it just before the hour but his fierce right-foot effort was, once again, saved by Bell.

At the other end, Marius Zaliukas headed down into the ground from a corner when he should have found the net.

Dutch striker Zeefuik gave Hearts some hope when he headed in his 11th goal of the season with eight minutes to go and then turned in the equaliser from close range with just injury time remaining.

Osman Sow goes tumbling in the penalty box from a challenge by Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell
Osman Sow tumbles in the penalty box from a challenge by Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell
Rangers celebrate Kenny Miller's goal
Rangers celebrate Kenny Miller's goal, the team's second
Hearts owner Ann Budge holds the Championship trophy aloft
Hearts owner Ann Budge holds the Championship trophy aloft
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson takes the trophy around the fans at Tynecastle

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 4-4-2

  • 15Gallacher
  • 2Paterson
  • 5Ozturk
  • 4Wilson
  • 3McHattie
  • 7Walker
  • 14Pallardo GonzalezSubstituted forAndersonat 70'minutes
  • 6Gomis
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forKeatingsat 77'minutes
  • 9El HassnaouiSubstituted forZeefuikat 63'minutes
  • 20SowBooked at 19mins

Substitutes

  • 13Hamilton
  • 16Oliver
  • 19Keatings
  • 21Anderson
  • 22McKay
  • 23Zeefuik
  • 30McGhee

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Bell
  • 23FosterSubstituted forMcCullochat 81'minutes
  • 24McGregor
  • 26Zaliukas
  • 5Wallace
  • 22Shiels
  • 34Murdoch
  • 7Law
  • 10VuckicBooked at 6minsSubstituted forWalshat 81'minutes
  • 18MillerSubstituted forBlackat 86'minutes
  • 14Clark

Substitutes

  • 3Mohsni
  • 6McCulloch
  • 8Black
  • 15Boyd
  • 31Simonsen
  • 48Walsh
  • 52Hardie
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
16,874

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Rangers 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Rangers 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ian Black (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Lee McCulloch.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 2, Rangers 2. Género Zeefuik (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alim Ozturk.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Género Zeefuik (Heart of Midlothian).

  7. Post update

    Darren McGregor (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Ian Black replaces Kenny Miller.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian).

  10. Post update

    Tom Walsh (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 1, Rangers 2. Género Zeefuik (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Morgaro Gomis with a cross.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Tom Walsh replaces Haris Vuckic.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Lee McCulloch replaces Richard Foster.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. James Keatings replaces Sam Nicholson.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marius Zaliukas (Rangers) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

  19. Post update

    Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Anderson (Heart of Midlothian).