Frankie McAvoy savoured “a special occasion” at a packed Tynecastle as Hearts staged a stunning fightback to edge out Rosenborg in a dramatic Europa Conference League qualifier.

Cammy Devlin scored the decisive goal in stoppage time to secure a 3-1 win on the night and a 4-3 aggregate triumph, setting up a play-off round showdown with Greek side PAOK.

Head coach McAvoy believes it was a night to remember for the packed Tynecastle crowd as the Jambos clawed their way back into the match after trailing 3-1 on aggregate six minutes into the second leg.

“It was a roller coaster of emotions at the side of the pitch,” he said.

“We lost an early goal, which wasn’t ideal if I’m honest with you. And we looked a little tentative at the beginning, I don’t know if the occasion got to some of us.

“But character sums up the team. We came back, 3-1 down on aggregate, to win 4-3 on the night and the players deserve immense credit.

“The support drove us on, it was a special occasion. Tynecastle under the lights is difficult and daunting for anyone.

“Rosenborg are a good team, you saw that tonight. They had more of the ball than they did last week and they were more in our faces.

“So over the piece I am delighted for everyone connected with Hearts that we’re through to the next round.

“The ultras behind the goal really make it a big occasion in Scottish football and it is great to see. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“They drove us on and that’s fantastic. Everyone talks about cliches of a 12th man, they were that tonight.”

Captain Lawrence Shankland started the fightback in the first half before Devlin – not renowned for his goal-scoring – sealed the deal with a double after the break.

McAvoy praised the Australian for his willingness to get forward from his deep-lying midfield role.

“I’m delighted for Cammy,” he said. “We like him. He’s done really well for us since we’ve come in. We’re delighted with him.

“The good thing is he’s getting forward and into the box, which is one of the things we have asked him to do. For me, he is a fantastic young player, a great squad member and we’re delighted with his contribution tonight.”

Cammy Devlin scored a stoppage-time winner as Hearts mounted a stirring fightback from two goals behind on aggregate to eliminate Rosenborg in a dramatic Europa Conference League third qualifying-round tie.

The Jambos, already trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Norway, came from behind in the second leg at a packed Tynecastle to win 3-1 on the night and secure a 4-3 triumph over the two legs, setting up a play-off with Greek side PAOK later this month.

The Norwegians looked to be in full control when an early goal from Isak Thorvaldsson put them 3-1 ahead on aggregate.

But the Jambos came roaring back to level the tie through goals from captain Lawrence Shankland and Devlin. The Australian midfielder then sparked bedlam with his second of the night in added time.

Hearts made three changes to the team that started Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Kilmarnock in the cinch Premiership as 19-year-old Aidan Denholm came in for his first competitive start along with Liam Boyce and Alex Cochrane, while Peter Haring, Alex Lowry and Kyosuke Tagawa dropped out.

A sold-out Tynecastle was at its raucous best as the teams emerged from the tunnel, but the Norwegians silenced the home support just six minutes in.

Thorvaldsson did the damage when he drilled the rebound over the line from the edge of the six-yard box after goalkeeper Zander Clark had done superbly to keep out the striker’s initial header from an Adrian Pereira free-kick.

Hearts almost equalised two minutes later, but Yutaro Oda smashed an angled shot off the far post after being played in to the box on the right by Shankland.

Clark had to make an impressive save in the 12th minute to prevent Rosenborg stretching their lead when he got down to his left to stop Emil Frederiksen finding the net with a low shot from eight yards out after the attacker had got himself clear inside the box.

It proved a pivotal moment as Hearts went straight up the pitch and scored.

Left-back Stephen Kingsley clipped a speculative through-ball in behind and Shankland managed to get himself clear before producing a lovely finish as he nonchalantly chipped the advancing Andre Hansen from the edge of the box.

The Jambos were suddenly full of confidence and they had a great chance to level the tie on aggregate in the 28th minute when Shankland ran on to an Oda pass down the right and saw his angled shot blocked by the legs of the keeper when he had Boyce in the middle begging for the ball to be squared.

Hearts continued in the ascendancy for the remainder of the first half.

In the 40th minute Kye Rowles headed over from Kingsley’s cross and seconds later Cochrane saw a firm low shot from the edge of the box saved by Hansen.

The hosts survived a scare four minutes after the restart when Nathaniel Atkinson had to hook the ball off the goal-line after his own attempt to clear a cross into the six-yard box ricocheted back off team-mate Rowles.

Seconds later Hearts went ahead on the night and levelled the tie on aggregate when Devlin followed up to smash a loose ball high into the net from a few yards out after Boyce’s powerful shot from 12 yards out was blocked by Hansen.

And Devlin had the final say in added time when his low deflected shot from the edge of the box found the net, sparking jubilant scenes inside Tynecastle.

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy is happy his side will take to the pitch at Tynecastle next week with their European hopes still alive following a 2-1 defeat by Rosenborg in Norway.

It was a tough first half for Hearts in the first leg of their Europa Conference League third round qualifier at the Lerkendal Stadion as Emil Frederiksen put the home side ahead in the 14th minute before Jayden Nelson made it 2-0 in added time.

The Jambos asserted themselves after the break and pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through skipper Lawrence Shankland on his 28th birthday to give the Edinburgh side better prospects of recovering the tie in the second leg next Thursday in Gorgie.

McAvoy told Hearts TV: “We are obviously disappointed to lose the game 2-1 but the tie is alive which is the least that we hoped that we could do.

“We made a few mistakes in the first half but that is about us encouraging players to be brave on the ball, we’ve done that so we accept that responsibility as a coaching team.

“We had a lot of possession in the first half but we’re probably a wee bit too safe, if I’m honest.

“We changed that a wee bit in a second half and you could see that we get more impetus, more forward, penetrating passes and I thought that the least we deserved was the goal which we are delighted with and obviously not losing again because their strength is in transition, they are very good at it.

“But it’s all to play for in front of a capacity crowd at Tynecastle so we believe we can go there and hopefully get the job done.”

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy is expecting a “real tough game” when his side come up against Rosenborg in the UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round first-leg in Norway.

The Jambos will be looking to make it to the group stage for the second consecutive year but need to beat the 26-time Norwegian champions and would then meet either Hajduk Split or PAOK if they are to play in the main draw again, and McAvoy is not underestimating their opponents.

He told a press conference: “We are expecting a real tough game if I’m honest.

“I think they are undefeated in six as well so that shows what kind of form they are on but we are prepared as best as we can coming here.

“It’s a big game there’s no doubt about that, we’ve set a few aims for ourselves to try and qualify to get into the group stages, we’ve got a tough opponent there’s no doubt about that.

“We will do our utmost, do our best here to take a good positive result back to a full house at Tynecastle and that can be a daunting task for anybody.”

Hearts started their league campaign in style on Saturday with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone thanks to goals from Yutaro Oda and Lawrence Shankland.

In contrast, Rosenborg sit eighth in Norway’s Eliteserien but have recently seen an upturn in form, winning each of their last four league games.

McAvoy continued: “In terms of match sharpness they are probably ahead of us but there’s no reason why we can’t come here and do extremely well and that’s what we are hoping to do.

“But we’ve got a good competitive group, we believe we have a good squad and we are hoping we can come here and do ourselves justice tomorrow night.

“You can see when you walk down the tunnel, you can see their record in Europe but they have brought a new manager in and have started to do well. They’ve played Scottish competition before and know what they will be coming up against.”

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