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Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon expressed annoyance at being struck by an object which appeared to be thrown from the FC Zurich support during Thursday’s Europa League play-off showdown at Tynecastle.

The 39-year-old went down holding his head as he prepared to take a free-kick in front of the area housing the travelling fans midway through the second half.

Television pictures indicated he was hit by a coin during his side’s 1-0 second-leg defeat.

“I don’t know, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t find what it was,” said Gordon. “I got hit by something on the back of the head. It’s not ideal to be facing that when you’re on the pitch – it can be dangerous, so that’s disappointing.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for it. The players were out there putting on a great show – it was a really good game, really competitive, and we don’t need to be facing that as well. It’s disappointing. I hope we can all of a sudden put a stop to it but it’s very difficult.”

Hearts lost 3-1 on aggregate to the Swiss champions.

The dismissal of Jorge Grant early in the second half of the second leg proved pivotal as the Jambos were dominant until then and looked capable of wiping out Zurich’s 2-1 first-leg lead.

“We played really well, our performance was good,” said Gordon. “We carried out the gameplan we wanted but just couldn’t get that goal. If we managed to do that, we’d have probably gone on and won the game.

“If we took one of those chances I’m sure the roof would have come off Tynecastle and it would have been a very difficult place for them to hang on after that. But it didn’t come and the change in the game came with the sending off.”

Hearts now drop into the Europa Conference League group stage.

“We’re going to have to lick our wounds from this and come back again but we’re still in Europe,” Gordon said.

“We really felt we could get to the Europa League and I thought our performance in the first part of the game merited winning the game. We just couldn’t take our chances to make that tell.”