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Igor Rossi double helps Hearts to 4-2 victory over FC Infonet

Edinburgh side seal 6-3 aggregate victory to progress to face Birkirkara in second round

Flying: Hearts booked their passage to the second round in Tallinn
Flying: Hearts booked their passage to the second round in Tallinn SNS Group

Hearts blew away FC Infonet with a powerful first half display in Tallinn, to book their place in the Europa League qualifying second round.

Goals inside the first ten minutes from Callum Paterson and Igor Rossi put the Scots on their way, with Alim Ozturk and a second from Rossi either side of half time sealing a comfortable aggregate win.

Hearts made three changes from the 2-1 first leg victory at Tynecastle. Liam Smith and Rossi took places in the defence, with Perry Kitchen coming in to the midfield.

That pushed Paterson up to right wing in place of Sam Nicholson, while John Souttar and Juanma also dropped to the bench.

Hearts could not have hoped for a better start as they took an early lead to settle any nerves.

Conor Sammon won a corner after getting behind the Infonet defence and Jamie Walker's delivery found Paterson to head the ball over the stranded Matvel Igonen and into the net.

Walker's delivery was the undoing of the Estonians again after eight minutes as he swung a wicked free kick to the back post where Rossi powered a header past Igonen.

Tempers were raised after 19 minutes when Ofosu Appiah caught Walker late inside the Hearts half. Walker's teammates reacted angrily but Czech referee Petr Ardeleanu calmed the situation and booked the Infonet defender.

Paterson screwed an effort wide after being played in on the right hand channel on 29 minutes, and shortly after Ozturk tested Igonen from distance after Walker had been fouled on the left flank.

Robbie Neilson's side continued to dominate and Sammon should have made it 3-0 when he glanced Buaben' cross wide when he should really have tested the keeper.

Infonet were clinging on as a series of blocks denied first Djoum and then Walker ten minutes before the break.

Jevgeni Harin - scorer of the spectacular opening goal at Tynecastle last week - headed wide from a corner on a rare Infonet foray into the Hearts box, as Ozturk and Rossi continued to douse any home hopes of a goal before half-time.

But it was the Edinburgh men who found the net before the whistle as their sharp set pieces undid the Estonians once more.

Walker's corner from the right was met in the air by Rossi, and diverted past Igonen from three yards by captain Ozturk.

Infonet boss Aleksandr Pushtov threw on winger Pavel Domov for defender Vladimir Avilov as the Tallinn men tried to chase the game after the break, and they got their reward after 50 minutes as Hearts' lead was reduced.

Nikolai Masichev beat Rossi down the right and his low cross resulted in an own goal by Ozturk, under pressure from Harin.

But Hearts roared straight back and Walker was instrumental again. The winger put a swirling cross in to the box, Appiah bizarrely nodded the ball back across his own goal where Rossi pounced to score his second of the match.

Infonet were showing more endeavour in the second half and they grabbed another goal back after 62 minutes when a deep delivery by Dmitri Kruglov found Vladimir Voskoboinikov to finish across the face of Jack Hamilton's goal.

The goals restored some of the composure on the ball that Infonet had shown in the first leg and they were now causing Hearts some problems with their probing passing in the final third.

A wicked cross from Masichev on 77 minutes saw Harin deflect a shot on the bar and into the arms of the grateful Hamilton.

But a late attempt to win the header from Ofosu-Appiah led to a clash of heads with both the Hearts goalkeeper and the Ghanaian defender requiring treatment in the goalmouth.

After a lengthy delay Appiah rejected a stretcher to play on, while Hamilton continued after bandaging his head and replacing his blood-stained jersey.

Hearts were starting to wilt in the late evening sunshine as their early start to competitive action began to show, but the Tynecastle men never looked in serious danger of surrendering their commanding aggregate lead.

Neilson must now prepare them to face Birkirkara, who defeated Bosnia's Siroki Brijeg 3-1 on aggregate, with the first leg in Malta next week.

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