Dundee 0
Heart of Midlothian 0
League (Premier League)

0 - 0

League (Premier League)
Sunday, March 18th, 2001
Dens Park
Attendance: 7,327
2:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
Ivano Bonetti
Craig Levein

Starting Eleven
1. Marco Roccati
2. Barry Smith
22. Chris Coyne
4. Marcello Marrocco
26. Walter Del Rio
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
36. Beto Garrido
18. Javier Artero
14. Gavin Rae
33. Claudio Caniggia
9. Juan Sara
Antti Niemi .26
Grant Murray .12
Austin McCann .3
Steven Pressley .4
Kevin McKenna .5
Paul Kaczan .24
Lee Makel .16
Colin Cameron .10
Thomas Flögel .14
Scott Severin .7

3. Jamie Langfield
23. Mark Robertson
28. Marco Russo
25. Beto Carranza
15. Steven Milne
Roddy McKenzie .13
Steven Boyack .12
Gary McSwegan .17
Robbie Neilson .29
Kieran McAnespie .25

Steven Milne for Juan Sara (59)
Beto Carranza for Beto Garrido (83)
Steven Boyack for Paul Kaczan (59)
Gary McSwegan for Lee Makel (85)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Bobby Orr (Referee)
Joe McDowall & Stuart Macaulay (Assistants)
Eddie Mack (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee's Dens Park form woe, which threatens to scupper their pursuit of a top-six spot, continued yesterday when they were held by Hearts.

Four months and seven games have elapsed since the Dark Blues notched the last of only three SPL victories on their own patch and, coming as it did so soon after they'd gone to Ibrox and beaten Rangers this, their sixth draw at Dens, was particularly disappointing.

It could prove costly, too, for whereas a win would have had them breathing the necks of sixth placed Dunfermline, a point behind with a game in hand with three matches to go until the split, they still have it all to do.

With Claudio Caniggia-who dashed from the ground afterwards to begin his journey back to Argentina where he will spend the week pursuing his court battle with former employers Boca Juniors over al leged non-payment of wages-pulling the strings as ever Dundee had ample opportunity to avenge the cup defeat they suffered at the hands of Hearts 11 days earlier.

But they failed to make any ground of the fifth-top Jam Tarts who still have a six-point cushion over them. And boss Ivano Bonetti admitted his side's inability to notch home results is something he has to sort out.

"For every game there is a story," he said. "At Ibrox in midweek we scored with our first chance. Today, we had four or five chances and didn't take any of them.

"One point is better than nothing but this is a better result for Hearts than us, although we will keep on working because I think the top-six situation will still be open going into the final round of matches.

"Our record here is very strange. When you want to win something you must build your challenge at home. But we don't seem able to do that.

"It's something I must find the reason for and sort it for next season because if we could get the results we are capable of here, it could be worth an other 23-25 points a year to us.'

Dundee had the two best chances of an end-to-end if ragged first-half.

But defensive slips gifted Hearts a couple of openings, too.

The Dark Blues first opportunity came when Caniggia flicked an outside of the foot pass from Georgi Newmsadze into the path of Juan Sara who opted for power and had his shot blocked by the advancing Antti Niemi.

Their second was just as clear-cut as Caniggia pulled the ball back for Nemsadze who, steaming into the box, sliced his effort high and wide from 10 yards range.

But the Jam Tarts might well have found the net themselves.

Skipper Barry Smith, making a rare appearance at centre back to cover for the absence of the injured Steven Tweed, was unfortunate to lose his footing 25 yards out after just 10 minutes, leaving Gary Kirk a free run in on goal. Luckily for Smith and Dundee, however, Kirk fired wide.

And they enjoyed another let-off when Smith struggled to deal with an ill-judged throw out by Rocatti.

Attempting to get the ball up field, the man who has spent most this season playing right back succeeded only in playing it off Kirk, from whose body it rebounded to the clearly offside Thomas Flogel.

Linesman Derek Mason's failure to flag, however, left Dundee in danger and keeper Rocatti had to sprint from his box to tackle Flogel, allowing Marcello Marrocco the chance to clear for a throw in. The Dees went on to dominate the second-half territorially, but couldn't find a finish.

Sara headed over a Nemsadze free-kick from six yards distance, then brought a decent save out of Nemi when nodding down a Javier Artero cross and forced the keeper to beat out a well-struck effort.

Artero also fired wide of the far post from a tricky angle after being released by Caniggia. But that was as close as they went to scoring. It has to be said they sur ived a couple of narrow squeaks at the other end.

Former Dens Park favourite Steven Boyack whose every touch was loudly jeered by the home crowd delivered the ball low to the front post where Colin Cameron's attempted finish struck the body of the diving Rocatti and clipped the crossbar on it's way out for a corner.

And Flogel, sliding in, was only inches away from connecting with a Kirk cross with the goal at his mercy.

"We didn't play as well as we did in beating Kil marnock on Wednesday night but to come up here and get a draw is a good result, especially as it means Dundee are still six points behind us," said Tynecastle boss Craig Levein.

Match report written by The Courier

Squad Statistics (as at March 18th, 2001)

2000-01 All Time
Marco Roccati (GK)25 22 - 22 -
Chris Coyne22 17 - 17 -
Barry Smith27 36 - 2151
Walter Del Rio24 5 - 5 -
Marcello Marrocco31 26 - 26 -
Gavin Rae23 30313411
Javier Artero25 343434
Beto Garrido - 4 - 4 -
Giorgi Nemsadze28 341341
Juan Sara24 30143014
Claudio Caniggia34 228228
Beto Carranza (sub)28 192192
Steven Milne (sub)20 204224

League Table (as at March 18th, 2001)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

For the second consecutive home game, we have Hearts as our opponents and there is no need for me to tell you how very disappointed everyone was that we lost the last meeting to tumble out of the Scottish Cup.

Things were looking good for us until Marco de Marchi foolishly got himself sent off.

Even after his departure, we played even better with ten men, demonstrating the team spirit there is amongst the players, but in the end, unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Our exit from the Scottish Cup meant we had no game last weekend, but we were far from idle, training everyday in preparation for Wednesday's match against Rangers at Ibrox.

And because we still have high hopes of making the top six, we headed west to meet Rangers determined to get three points.

Although there is still a lot to play for this season, we already have an eye on next season, having added Zura Khizanishvili to the swell the number of quality players in our ranks.

Just to prove how highly rated the young Georgian defender is, we have enlisted the endorsement of Arsene Wenger in helping us get a work permit for Zura. The Arsenal boss will confirm that he is of such a standard that he would gladly have him in his Highbury squad.

Indeed, a number of top clubs were chasing the talented young defender and his arrival and one or two other problem areas which I have identified during the season will be addressed, so that next term, we will be highly competitive as we are entertaining.

But as I have

already said, achieving a top six finish this season is certainly not outwith our capabilities.

The return of Fabian Caballero to the squad is a major and timely boost. Though we will have to break him back into action gently, it was my intention to involve him at some stage of Wednesday's game, and again this afternoon, before being. able fielding him from the start in the not too distant future.

Irrespective of the result at Ibrox, today's match is vital and if Hearts perhaps deserved the points when we met them at Tynecastle, we can count ourselves unlucky not to have won either of the two games at Dens Park. In addition to their recent win here in the cup, only a last minute penalty enabled them to take a point from the first league meeting at Dens Park.

Hopefully, we can redress that imbalance by repeating how we played for most of the cup tie, but this time finishing the game with eleven men and a victory!