Dundee United progressed to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a deserved win against St Mirren.

Nadir Ciftci crossed for Ryan Gauld to edge the hosts ahead in the 21st minute but Kenny McLean levelled from the spot five minutes later after being fouled.

St Mirren goalkeeper Marian Kello kept United at bay with fine saves to deny Gary Mackay-Steven then Ciftci.

But Ciftci was to have the last word, heading home a Mackay-Steven cross five minutes after the break.

Jackie McNamara's side, who claim their first win of 2014, will travel to Inverness or Stranraer in the last eight .

The fifth-round tie at Tannadice provided the platform for Cameroon international Eric Djemba-Djemba to make his St Mirren debut and it was the Paisley side who threatened first.

Former United striker Steven Thompson exposed some sloppy defending when he chested down a long ball and volleyed straight at goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Tangerines captain Stuart Armstrong tested Kello moments later and United thought they were in on goal again when the skipper released Mackay-Steven but Darren McGregor's tackle suppressed the danger.

Dundee United players Nadir Ciftci and Ryan Gauld

Ciftci and Gauld celebrate Dundee United's opener

However, St Mirren were not so robust when Ciftci raced away from Djemba-Djemba and centred for Gauld to apply the scoring touch.

The Buddies had fallen out of the game by that stage but an injection of pace from McLean changed the complexion of the first half.

The midfielder burst forward and got in between Paul Paton and Mark Wilson to draw a foul from the latter. And McLean could scarcely have been more composed as he passed the ball into the net from 12 yards.

Mackay-Steven was getting a lot of joy behind the St Mirren defence and only the prowess of Kello denied the winger a goal on the volley.

And the keeper made another terrific save after Ciftci had headed Armstrong's teasing delivery on target.

But Ciftci did find the net early in the second half, heading in Mackay-Steven's hanging cross.

McNamara's men were keen to put the tie to bed and Gauld's impressive shot on the turn was touched over by Kello.

Gary Teale replaced Djemba-Djemba and the former Scotland winger's free-kick delivery supplied St Mirren's best chance of a second leveller.

Thompson made the right connection with a powerful header but Cierzniak was equally alert to make the save.

McGregor fired wide following another set piece as time began to run out for the visitors.

United had one final effort, with Kello palming substitute Ryan Dow's shot on the run.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 16 Wilson
  • 26 Robertson Booked
  • 08 Rankin Booked
  • 20 Souttar
  • 03 Good
  • 11 Mackay-Steven
  • 06 Paton
  • 21 Ciftci (El Alagui - 88' )
  • 19 Gauld (Gomis - 88' )
  • 10 Armstrong (Dow - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Dillon
  • 09 Graham
  • 12 Watson
  • 18 Dow
  • 25 McCallum
  • 27 Gomis
  • 29 El Alagui

St Mirren

  • 28 Kello
  • 18 Kelly
  • 22 Naismith
  • 24 Newton (Campbell - 85' )
  • 14 McAusland
  • 04 McGregor
  • 06 Goodwin Booked
  • 99 Djemba-Djemba Booked (Teale - 71' )
  • 09 Thompson Booked
  • 10 McGowan
  • 11 McLean Booked

Substitutes

  • 02 van Zanten
  • 12 Campbell
  • 17 Reilly
  • 21 Teale
  • 26 Brady
  • 30 Dilo
  • 49 Morgan
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 4,952

Match Stats

Shots

15 8

On target

7 5

Corners

6 3

Fouls

13 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Dundee United 2, St Mirren 1.

90:00 +3:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Dundee United 2, St Mirren 1.

90:00 +2:38

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:38

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

90:00 +1:10

Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).

90:00 +1:10

Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:42

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marián Kello.

88:35

Attempt saved. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

87:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Morgaro Gomis replaces Ryan Gauld.

87:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Farid El Alagui replaces Nadir Ciftci.

86:34

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

86:34

Darren McGregor (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

84:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Adam Campbell replaces Conor Newton.

84:00

Attempt missed. Darren McGregor (St Mirren) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

83:15

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

83:15

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:57

Attempt missed. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

78:27

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

78:21

Attempt saved. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

77:53

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

77:53

Conor Newton (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:32 Booking

Booking John Rankin (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

76:29

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

76:29

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Dow replaces Stuart Armstrong.

72:27

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

72:27

Jason Naismith (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:23

Attempt blocked. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

70:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gary Teale replaces Eric Djemba-Djemba.

69:24 Booking

Booking James Goodwin (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

69:17

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

69:17

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

68:33

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

67:51

Foul by Curtis Good (Dundee United).

67:51

Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:58

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

64:48

Attempt blocked. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

60:39

Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is too high.

59:42

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

57:09

Foul by Curtis Good (Dundee United).

57:09

Paul McGowan (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:53

Attempt missed. James Goodwin (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

52:00 Booking

Booking Kenny McLean (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

51:30

Attempt saved. Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

51:15

Attempt blocked. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

50:01 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 2, St Mirren 1. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) header from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

49:11

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

48:28

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

48:18 Booking

Booking Eric Djemba-Djemba (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

45:00

Second Half begins Dundee United 1, St Mirren 1.

45:00 +0:16 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Dundee United 1, St Mirren 1.

45:00

Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:58

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

42:47

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

42:34

Attempt saved. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

40:35

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:35

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

39:38

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Gary Mackay-Steven.

37:35

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

36:51

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

36:51

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:02

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

33:33

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

32:23

Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

29:00

Eric Djemba-Djemba (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

28:59

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

27:29

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

27:29

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 1, St Mirren 1. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

25:31

Penalty conceded by Paul Paton (Dundee United) after a foul in the penalty area.

25:31

Penalty St Mirren. Kenny McLean draws a foul in the penalty area.

23:18 Booking

Booking Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

23:03

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

23:03

Jason Naismith (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 1, St Mirren 0. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nadir Ciftci.

17:35

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Mark Wilson.

16:33 Booking

Booking Steven Thompson (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

16:30

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:30

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

8:30

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:30

Foul by Eric Djemba-Djemba (St Mirren).

7:22

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

5:46

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:46

Foul by Eric Djemba-Djemba (St Mirren).

2:52

Attempt saved. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

1:46

Attempt saved. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

0:23

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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