Jubilant Hearts boss Robbie Neilson: 'It will be raucous in Riga tonight that's for sure'

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson says he is expecting a raucous night in Riga after his side secured a deserved 2-0 victory over RFS in the Europa Conference League.

Goals from Lawrence Shankland - a first-half penalty - and a second in stoppage time for substitute Alan Forrest, saw the Jambos pick up their first points in Group A, a result that takes them up to second spot behind leaders Istanbul Basaksehir ahead of next week's mouth-watering clash with Fiorentina at Tynecastle Park.

Despite RFS dangerman Emerson striking the frame of Craig Gordon's goal inside two minutes at the Skonto Stadium in the Latvian capital, Hearts were far superior across the pitch and could - and probably should have - won by a more handsome outcome.

However, it's job done for the Jambos who now turn their attentions to Sunday's Scottish Premiership trip to Motherwell.

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson was delighted for the travelling supporters. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov).


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"We're absolutely delighted for the fans first and foremost because we brought about 2,000 here so it's going to be a raucous night in Riga that's for sure," Neilson told BT Sport's Connie McLaughlin. "It's been such a long time since we won a game in Europe so it's absolutely brilliant. We're now sitting second in the group which is magnificent.

"We played Istanbul last week and I think they will run away with the group because they are a top team. Fiorentina are very good but we've got a chance against them next week at Tynecastle and then again after that away from home.

"I just spoke to the boys there - tonight is brilliant, great, enjoy it, but we go to Fir Park on Sunday so we need to get ready for that.

"I'm delighted for Lawrence. The last couple of games we haven't really created the chances for him but we got (Andy) Halliday and (Jorge) Grant a lot closer to him so we got a lot more out of him and he probably could have had another one or two.


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"Craig was also brilliant in goal. He brings so much solidity and security because you know it's going to take something special to beat him. It's been a long time he's won a game for Hearts in Europe."