HEARTS keeper Bobby Zlamal insisted he did NOT touch Odsonne Edouard before referee Willie Collum awarded Celtic a 61st-minute penalty-kick.
The Hoops were trailing 1-0 to Ryan Edwards’ goal shortly after the interval when the Frenchman was sent tumbling when the Edinburgh side’s shotstopper went down at his feet.
The match official had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and TV pictures indicated there had been contact between the striker and Zlamal.
Edouard struck the ball firmly to the goalie’s right for the crucial equaliser before notching the winner eight minutes from the end.
However, Zlamal, speaking to STV, was adamant the ref got it wrong and he should not have been penalised.
He said: “For me, it’s absolutely not a penalty. I’m 100 per cent sure that I didn’t touch him. But the referee said penalty.
“It’s very disappointing, as well, because I touched the ball, but it went in. It was the most important reason why we didn’t beat Celtic.”
The Tynecastle No.1, in his first season with the Edinburgh outfit, added: “I think we played very well the whole game, but football is about small details and Celtic were more lucky.
“It was a big opportunity and we felt that we should win, but I have to repeat it wasn’t a penalty.
“I didn’t touch him and I’m absolutely sure I didn’t touch him.”
Zlamal wasn’t overworked by a Hoops side who failed to click with the same threat they did when they stuck five past him in a Premiership encounter at Parkhead in November and three in the League Cup semi-final the previous month.
He dealt with most of the Hoops’ attacking threat at the national stadium, but had no answer to Edouard’s double strike.