Newcastle United prospect boosts European hopes with first goal of loan spell

There was a big moment for one Magpies youngster on Wednesday night.

Newcastle United youngster Garang Kuol picked the perfect time to score the first goal of what has been an underwhelming loan spell at Scottish Premiership club Hearts.

Garang Kuol salvages a point for Hearts against Rangers at Ibrox.Garang Kuol salvages a point for Hearts against Rangers at Ibrox.
Garang Kuol salvages a point for Hearts against Rangers at Ibrox.

Steven Naismith’s side were heading for a defeat at Rangers on Wednesday night as the hosts recovered from an early Lawrence Shankland goal to take a lead into the closing stages thanks to efforts from Todd Cantwell and Fashion Sakala. However, Kuol popped up with a last-minute equaliser as the Australian international made the most of some defensive confusion by pouncing on a loose ball before rolling the ball beyond Rangers keeper Allan McGregor to mark his first goal in nine appearances in all competitions for his temporary employers.

The draw means Hearts are in pole position to claim fourth place in the Cinch Premiership table and that is where they will end the campaign if they can avoid defeat in Saturday’s home game against Edinburgh rivals Hibernian. Should they claim a point against Lee Johnson’s side, Hearts will then hope Celtic can see of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday week as that will ensure they enter next season’s Europa Conference League at the third qualifying round stage.

Speaking after the draw at Ibrox, Hearts manager Steven Naismith looked ahead to a thrilling end to the season, telling Hearts TV: “(It’s a) big game. The performances at home have been really good. The fact that we’ve started well, we’ve given the fans something to get behind us and that will be no different come Saturday.

“We’ll go out and do the same thing. I’ve got a style of play, a way we want to play in and out of possession and tonight is another example of that. Come Saturday, it’ll be the same again and hopefully it’ll be an unbelievable atmosphere and a great end to the season.”

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