Group A round-up
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Ruud Gullit's Feyenoord took control of Group A after brushing aside Hearts at the De Kuip stadium, while a late Basel equaliser cancelled out Schalke's early lead.
The Rotterdam side - currently joint leaders of the Dutch league with PSV - took immediate control of the game and pinned Hearts back, though they did not have a clear chance until the 21st minute when Pascal Bosschaart rounded keeper Craig Gordon but was unable to finish.
The breakthrough came seconds later when - despite Hearts' offside protestations - in-form striker Dirk Kuijt arrived at the far post to head home Patrick Pauwee's cross from the right.
Kuijt should have made it 2-0 after 33 minutes when he ran on to a defence-splitting flick but dragged the shot across the goal and wide.
Another moment of controversy occurred in the 36th minute when Hearts' Kevin McKenna had the ball in the net, but team-mate Paul Hartley was adjudged to be offside.
The Edinburgh side made a brighter start to the second half, with striker Graham Weir - a first half replacement for Neil McFarlane - proving a handful. However, the home side extended their lead in the 57th minute when a precision ball from Romeo Castalen split the Hearts defence, with Belgian Bart Goor running on to calmly chip the ball over Gordon.
By the hour the previously good voice of the Hearts' fans had become subdued as Feyenoord exercised complete control over the game. In the 75th minute Kuijt showed just why Dutch coach Marco Van Basten recently handed him an international debut when he showed an excellent first touch to control a high cross from the left, the resulting volley being tipped over by Gordon.
Indeed it was Kuijt's evening, and the 24-year-old again showed wonderful technique to score his second goal in the 82nd minute by meeting a cross from Goor with a deft volley.
Meanwhile in Gelsenkirchen, Schalke took an early lead when Georgian Levan Kobiashvili broke forward and fired home from 25 yards out.
The home side continued to press their Swiss opponents back, but Christian Gross's team finally settled, were defending well, and were beginning to create the odd half-chance themselves - a 36th minute Benjamin Huggel header that forced a parry from keeper Frank Rost being their best chance of the half.
With the teams locked at stalemate in the second period, Basel then created two excellent opportunities within the space of a minute; however, Rost made two good stops: the first from a David Degan shot in the 56th minute, and seconds later stretching to tip a Christian Giminez header over the bar.
Then, in the 82nd minute, Rost was finally beaten when substitute Matias Delgado curled a free-kick over the Schalke wall and beyond the keeper.
|Shots on target||7||1|
|Shots off target||6||2|