Published: 24th September 2014

United progressed through to the quarter finals of the league cup after a dramatic evening at Tannadice.

By Ally Stewart

Rado Cierzniak saved an 18th minute Greg Stewart penalty before Martin Boyle saw red for Dundee before half time. United hit the woodwork three times in the match but eventually got their reward when Jarek Fojut rose to head home the winner deep in injury time.

If Rado Cierzniak was largely redundant at Dens Park in the Sunday derby, this time he was the prominent force of the first half as he kept the visitors at bay. After five minutes he produced a fine double save, first turning a Martin Boyle curler around the post before blocking with his feet from point blank range as the corner dropped invitingly to Luka Tankulic. John Rankin then conceded a penalty after 18 minutes for a clumsy foul on Paul McGowan. Cierzniak wasn't about to be beaten however as he diverted Greg Stewart's well hit attempt over the bar much to the delight of the United faithful. Dundee were then reduced to 10 men as a powerful burst towards the box from Stuart Armstrong was ended by Martin Boyle. As the last line of defence he had to see red. From the resulting free kick Nadir Ciftci smashed the ball off the crossbar and despite headers from Dow and Ciftci late on the breakthrough was still to arrive by half time.

The second half was a far different tale with almost constant home pressure against the 10 men. In 51 minutes Ciftci smashed the crossbar for a second time as he shot from distance following a neat ball from Dillon. Mackay-Steven and Bilate were thrown on as McNamara chased the winner and the opener again would have arrived but for the woodwork in 57 minutes. Armstrong took the ball from Dillon and turned before arrowing a left foot shot which was a goal all the way but for Kyle Letheren's touch onto the inside of the upright. Dundee were never out of it at 0-0 and Stewart came within inches of connecting with a Roberts cross with 57 minutes left. As the clock turned past 90 minutes Bilate won a corner after his attempt was blocked and from this the vital moment came. Mackay-Steven swung the ball in and Jarek Fojut rose majestically to slam his header into the net from six yards. Tannadice was in raptures and the Tangerines are into the quarter finals of the league cup.

Man of the Match:  But for his first half heroics the story may have been very different and this was arguably Rado Cierzniak's best match in tangerine,  the 18th minute penalty save from Stewart being the highlight.

United – Cierzniak, Watson, Morris, Fojut, Dillon, Paton, Rankin (Bilate 56), Dow (Mackay-Steven 53), Armstrong, Spittal (Erskine 76), Citfci. Subs not used – Szromnik, Spark, Smith, Telfer.

Dundee – Letheren, Irvine, Konrad, McPake, Ferry, Stewart, McGowan, McGinn, McAlister, Tankulic (Roberts 58), Boyle. Subs not used – Bain, McBride, Clarkson, Harkins, Kerr, Wighton.

 Attendance - 13500

 Referee – Craig Thomson