Hearts have come from behind to defeat Aberdeen at Tynecastle to keep their hopes of finishing third in the Premiership alive.
Josh Ginnelly produced a stunning strike to equalise in Edinburgh before the club’s top scorer Lawrence Shankland sealed the victory in the second-half.
Hearts, who had the lion’s share of possession and 30 shots on goal, were well worth their win that cups the gap to Aberdeen in the fight for guaranteed group stage football.
The team that finishes the “best of the rest” will enter the Europa League at the playoff stage, meaning even a defeat in that tie would see them drop into the Conference League groups.
Barry Robson’s side travelled to the capital five points ahead of their opponents knowing a win would seal a third placed finish.
But Hearts fought back from a goal down to take all three points and reduce the gap to two points with two games left.
Mattie Pollock put the visitors ahead with a header on the 30 minute mark before Ginnelly equalised with a sensational strike just before half-time.
Ginnelly will be feeling hard done by that this goal came too late for any goal of the season competitions as it would have surely been a contender.
The winger sent a curling effort into the top corner to bring the scores level in Gorgie.
And Steven Naismith’s men got themselves in front through Lawrence Shankland ten-minutes after the re-start.
Despite their dominance there were also a couple of scares towards the end as they failed to put the game to bed.
Alan Forrest should have secured the win with just over five minutes to go but his effort was just wide of the Aberdeen post.
Eight minutes of injury time were added on at the end as Aberdeen looked to get that vital equaliser that would all but kill the hosts’ chances of third.
But despite a couple of nervy moments for the Jambos in attendance, they managed to hold and take all three points.
Hearts play Rangers at Ibrox in their next game before hosting Edinburgh rivals Hibs at Tynecastle in the final day of the season.
Aberdeen host St Mirren in midweek before ending their campaign against the champions at Celtic Park next weekend.
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