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Zurich tie 'still alive' for Hearts ahead of 'massive' Tynecastle game

Hearts lost 2-1 to FC Zurich in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.

Hearts defender Alex Cochrane says Zurich tie ‘still alive’ for Hearts ahead of ‘massive’ Tynecastle game SNS Group

Alex Cochrane has said he left the Letzigrund Stadium in St Gallen pleased with Hearts performance, content with a result he believes gives them a chance of reaching the Europa League group stage.

The Edinburgh side took a first half lead against Swiss champions FC Zurich but conceded two before the break to go in to the second half 2-1 behind and fearing a heavier defeat.

However they managed to keep the score line to 2-1 and the English defender is confident they are capable of turning that around in front of a packed Tynecastle next week.

Speaking to Hearts TV he said: “The tie is still alive, going back to Edinburgh next week is a massive game for us and with a packed Tynecastle we feel like we have got a right chance.

“So we are positive and looking forward to next week.”

Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Zurich scored two goals in the space of two minutes to give them a first-leg lead.

But Cochrane says he seen enough on the night to believe Hearts can cause problems for the Zurich defence with 20,000 of their own supporters cheering them on.

He said: “It was nice to get a lead early doors then obviously the two goals happened, but we managed to stay in the game and didn’t concede any more so yeah it’s a good result and we will take it to next week.

“We are going to have to go for it, get that goal, it will be a great occasion for us and the fans.

“The fans were brilliant over here, seeing them from the warm up, hearing them make so much noise it was fantastic to see and we are looking forward to seeing them all again next week.”

Even if Hearts fail to overturn the deficit in the second leg they know that they are guaranteed group stage regardless as they will drop into the Europa Conference League.