7 - 1
League Cup (Semi Final)
Nacho Novo (7)
Dusan Prso (18)
Thomas Buffel (67)
Fernando Ricksen (77)
Steven Thompson (80)
Nacho Novo (85)
Steven Thompson (88)
Jason Scotland (50)
Barry Ferguson for Alex Rae (69)
Steven Thompson for Dusan Prso (75)
Stuart Duff for Alan Archibald (45)
Jason Scotland for Derek McInnes (45)
Billy Dodds for Lee Mair (75)
Hugh Dallas (Referee)
Dundee United’s disappointing season had a chance to turn for the better in this CIS Cup semi final. Having what appeared to be an Indian sign over Rangers in recent games the team and the fans went into this on a positive note contemplating a final place against Motherwell in March. United’s recent loan signing Nick Colgan continued in goal. The defence lined up with Mair at right back, McCracken and Ritchie in the centre and Archibald at left back. Kerr and skipper McInnes were flanked by Robson on the left and Wilson on the right of midfield. The partnership of McIntyre and Crawford was again preferred up front. Rangers’ new signing Ferguson started the game on the bench.
United were finding it hard to settle but in the 5th minute Crawford won a free kick 25 yards out. Wilson’s curling cross-shot was held easily by the Rangers’ keeper. It looked as if United had weathered the early storm and were settling in to the game, yet in the 9th minute they fell behind. A lovely swift passing move involving three Rangers players saw Novo sent clear one on one with Colgan. The Spaniard rounded the United keeper and despatched ball into the empty net for the first goal of the night. In the 18th minute, the wheels well and truly fell off the United cup final bandwagon. A long free kick from Andrews was headed goalwards by Prso and Colgan appeared to react late as the ball glanced off the left hand post and into the net. With less than 20 minutes gone the cup dream appeared over and things did not get any better in the next few moments as both Novo and Prso took advantage of inadequate defending to almost increase the Rangers lead. In the 29th minute Kerr almost got United back into the game. Great link-up play between McIntyre and Wilson saw Kerr meet the ball on the edge of the area but he was muscled off by Buffel and the chance went a-begging.
United reappeared for the second half with Scotland and Duff on for McInnes and Archibald and set up with Mair, McCracken and Ritchie across the back. The midfield saw Duff and Kerr flanked by Robson and Wilson. Scotland was pushing up the right alongside Crawford and McIntyre. Within 5 minutes the more aggressive tactics from United reaped rewards. A hopeful lob forward by Duff was controlled superbly by McIntyre on the edge of the area and although Andrews was able to stick a foot in, the ball broke to Scotland who steadied himself before lashing the ball past the helpless Waterreus. Sadly it all came unstuck once more in the 67th minute as Novo’s pace down the right again outwitted the United defence and the Spaniard’s cut back was bundled into the net by Buffel. United were now a well beaten team and Rangers drove forward at every opportunity. In the 74th minute Crawford, who by now had resorted to playing in midfield, almost gifted Prso an opportunity to take the keeper on one on one but the Croatian was adjudged to be offside. One minute later saw the introduction of Dodds for the previously injured Mair and Prso make way for Thompson for Rangers. With 77 minutes on the clock, a dismal night got darker for the Tangerines after Duff was adjudged to have fouled Thompson on the edge of the area. Ricksen flighted a free kick past the poorly positioned Colgan to make it 4-1. Within 90 seconds it was 5-1 as Thompson met Ross’s cross to drive the ball past Colgan. The United defensive unit had simply crumbled by this stage and most of the players were simply wishing to be off the park. In the 85th minute came goal number 6. Duff reacted slowly to a quickly taken free kick and Novo was left one on one with Colgan and dispatched the ball into the keeper’s far corner. The United support so vociferous throughout had seen enough by now and was ebbing away from the stands. The final indignity on an awful night for the club was added by Thompson in the 88th minute after Colgan had spilled a Ferguson effort. As the final whistle blew, the dejected United team made a beeline for the tunnel followed closely by Manager Ian McCall.
|Nick Colgan (GK)||31||2||-||2||-|
|Stuart Duff (sub)||23||14||1||81||1|
|Billy Dodds (sub)||35||20||2||127||41|
|Jason Scotland (sub)||25||23||2||46||7|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.