Friday, May 8, 2009

Hearts Fans Do Not Appreciate You Celebrating Your Goal

Your good thoughts for Aberdeen, though appreciated by me, did not work. A 1-1 draw isn't the end of a challenge for Europe, but it does make the prospect very unlikely. However, there is a new possible team to overtake for a Europa League spot. Hearts, which looked comfortable in third at the time of the split, are a team adrift. They are scoreless in 338 minutes and winless in a month.

The latest setback occurred last night when hosting Edinburgh rivals Hibernian. The accounts I have seen have said the game was a dour affair hurt by a gusting wind and low visiting attendance. The play was pretty bad as well, apparently. The lone goal went to the visitors, of course, courtesy of a 79th minute penalty by Derek Riordan. That's when the match really came to life, though not in the usual way.

Riordan celebrated his goal (he also earned the penalty) not by running to visiting Hibs fans behind the goal on the right side, but to the left of the goal in front of Hearts fans. He then made two gestures that are seen worldwide after a goal. First, he put his fingers to his lips to shush the home crowd. Then, Riordan kissed the badge on his shirt. For at least a couple of Hearts fans, this was too much.

Hibernian defender Ian Murray was hit by a coin thrown from the stands seconds later as he was celebrating alongside Riordan. That wasn't the end of it, however. Immediately after the coin hit Murray (which was caught by Setanta cameras, by the way) Riordan turns around and finds an angry Hearts fan bearing down on him. The fan probably would have been able to hit Riordan at full speed, if not for referee Steve Conroy stepping in at the last second. The fan is then escorted off the field by a Hearts player, and is seen reaching for his mouth, feigning as if he had been hit. That's right, the fan was playacting for a card on Riordan. The camera then cuts to a steward wrestling another incensed Hearts fan off of the pitch.

Hibs gaffer Mixu Paatelanien had the run of the presser afterwards and let the assembled newsmen know exactly what he thought. He thought that Tynecastle had too few stewards present both by his bench and in the corner where the post-goal incident happened. He got in some good one-liners too. When asked about the apparent danger to Riordan, Paatelanien quipped "I wasn't really worried. I always trust that our players are a bit quicker and fitter than their supporters. Maybe not braver." Then, in response to the coin hitting his captain, the manager replied "He's fine - the coin is in his pocket now, knowing him." Great stuff.

Oh, it almost slipped my mind. We have video of the entire incident--the penalty call, the goal, the celebration and the mini pitch invasion. Aren't we just swell to you? The penalty call is at 0:07, the resultant kick is at 1:14 and the celebrations kick off from there. You can see Murray flinch from the coin at 1:33 and the fan runs up on Riordan immediately after. Enjoy!

Great stuff. Conroy jumping in to save Riordan is reminiscent of the last great drunken pitch invasion that I recall. That was Denmark-Sweden in a Euro 2008 qualifier. There, referee Herbert Fandel had just sent off a Dane when a fan jumped out of the stands to confront the ref. As for the rest, just watch the video. That's a lucky, lucky man.


Matt said...

Knowing wee Deek, he would have been up for a square go against the Hertz fans. Certainly hasn't shied away from them in the pubs. Hearts fans are scum. Huns without the bus fare.

ü75 said...

Hey, I forgot to thank you for pointing me in the direction of this post. So, thanks!

Keith said...

Drogba doesn't see what any of those Hearts fans did wrong