Saturday, September 23, 2023

Hearts 2-0 Aberdeen: Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce find net as Steven Naismith gets first win as permanent head coach -Dlight News

Steven Naismith kicked off his reign as the official permanent head coach of Hearts with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aberdeen.

Goals either side of the break from Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce gave Hearts the spoils and left the Dons joint bottom of the cinch Premiership with St Johnstone.

Aberdeen had been looking for a morale-boosting result to take them into their opening Europa Conference League group clash away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

But the afternoon ended with Barry Robson’s side being booed off by the travelling fans at Tynecastle.

How Aberdeen slumped to defeat

Aberdeen had started brightly and saw plenty of the ball in the opposition half during the early exchanges.

Midfielder James McGarry got a volley away at the edge of the box, but Hearts goalkeeper Zander Clark kept the effort out with a fine save.

Hearts began to settle and after a move fizzled out from a turnover in a decent position, Nathaniel Atkinson registered the home’s first shot on target after 12 minutes.

McGarry was guilty of being careless in possession on the edge of his own box, but goalkeeper Kelle Roos got down well to Atkinson’s low drive.

Oda then fired Hearts in front in the 14th minute following neat build-up play. Lawrence Shankland knocked the ball back to Boyce, who found the Japanese forward.

Oda raced into the box and the forward’s right-footed drive took a deflection off McGarry before beating Roos.

There were chances at either end before the half was over. McGarry had another drive saved by Clark from distance, but Hearts finished the opening 45 minutes on top.

Alan Forrest was unable to convert with a header from Stephen Kingsley’s teasing cross to the back post before Boyce dragged a shot wide.

That theme continued in the second period as Hearts strengthened their grip on the game.

Kenneth Vargas hit the crossbar with a drive from the corner of the box, but Hearts made their pressure count in the 64th minute when Boyce doubled their lead.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Hearts' Liam Boyce celebrates with teammates after scoring to make it 2-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Aberdeen at Tynecastle Park, on September 16, 2023, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Liam Boyce celebrates after making it 2-0

Substitute Calem Nieuwenhof’s cross came off Jamie McGrath and Roos was forced into a desperate save at his near post. Boyce was on hand to knock the rebound into the gaping goal.

Dons boss Robson rang the changes in the second half, but Hearts saw out the game comfortably.

What’s next?

Hearts’ next Scottish Premiership match is away to St Mirren on September 23. Kick-off 3pm.

Aberdeen’s attention turns to their Europa Conference League opener at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night. They host Ross County in their next Scottish Premiership game on September 24. Kick-off 3pm.

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