Scottish Premiership - Play-off Semi-Final - 2nd Leg
Falkirk1Dundee Utd2

Falkirk 1-2 Dundee United (aggregate 3-4)

Simon Murray scores for Dundee United against Falkirk
Simon Murray curled home with 14 minutes remaining to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate

Late goals from Simon Murray and Paul Dixon sent Dundee United into the Scottish Premiership play-off final.

James Craigen had given Falkirk the lead in the semi-final second leg, after the first meeting ended 2-2.

But in the final 15 minutes, Murray, then Dixon, found the net to send the visiting supporters into raptures.

United's dramatic victory sets up a two-legged final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Hamilton Academical for a top-flight berth.

The Premiership's bottom two battle to avoid finishing last, and suffering automatic relegation, on Saturday.

Dixon's 87th-minute winner, his first goal in more than five years, puts United into the first leg of the play-off final, at Tannadice on Thursday, before the top-flight side host Ray McKinnon's men on Sunday, 28 May.

The away support stayed long after the final whistle to chant and sing about their team, especially happy given that they had trailed for a large part of the match.

Craigen has scored five goals this season and three of those have been against United.

Mark Durnan offers consolation to Falkirk's Paul Watson at full-time
Mark Durnan offers consolation to Falkirk's Paul Watson at full-time

His scissor-kick finish in the first leg was spectacular and his excellent technique came to the fore again this time as he kept the angled drive low at the edge of the box, following good work by John Baird and Aaron Muirhead.

The Falkirk Stadium had not been a happy hunting ground for the Tangerines, with 3-0 and 3-1 defeats already experienced this season.

Friday's match was the visitors' fifth game in 14 days, having already overcome Morton in the play-off quarter-finals, and McKinnon commented before the match that dips in the North Sea at St Andrews had been part of their team-building.

For parts of the first half some players were indeed all at sea and seemed a bit nervous - Mark Durnan on one occasion almost having a serious mix-up with goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

But towards the end of the opening 45 minutes United settled and created a few chances.

Thomas Mikkelsen headed and curled two separate efforts over, while Murray fluffed his lines after a nice Tony Andreu cut-back.

That theme continued after the break as the visitors were encouraged by shooting towards the away support.

Those fans were celebrating when William Edjenguele's eight-yard volley crashed in off the crossbar but referee Kevin Clancy whistled for a foul when he saw Mikkelsen leaning into Paul Watson.

Paul Dixon scores for Dundee United against Falkirk
Paul Dixon leapt highest to nod United in front with just three minutes of normal time to play

Undeterred, Murray set up Andreu who turned his effort round the wrong side of the post, before Bairns goalkeeper Robbie Thomson held Murray's header tightly.

Despite their calmness, Falkirk had gone a while without troubling Bell until Craigen's left-footer spun wide of the post.

From that moment on the night was United's.

Blair Spittal flicked on a long ball and Muirhead got the ball caught under his foot, which allowed the potent Murray to steal in and side-foot beyond Thomson.

Substitute Alex Nicholls was only on the pitch because of an injury to previous substitute Scott Fraser.

But the Englishman floated in a great cross for Dixon, who might have pushed Tom Taiwo slightly as he raced in to send a looping header over Thomson.

Line-ups

Falkirk

  • 24Thomson
  • 4MuirheadBooked at 90mins
  • 44Watson
  • 15Gasparotto
  • 3LeahyBooked at 81mins
  • 28CraigenSubstituted forHippolyteat 79'minutes
  • 6McKeeSubstituted forTaiwoat 54'minutes
  • 8Kerr
  • 10Sibbald
  • 9BairdSubstituted forMcHughat 61'minutes
  • 16Austin

Substitutes

  • 1Rogers
  • 2Kidd
  • 7Taiwo
  • 11Hippolyte
  • 18Miller
  • 19McHugh
  • 33Aird

Dundee Utd

  • 1Bell
  • 2Dillon
  • 4DurnanBooked at 72mins
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 3Dixon
  • 19Andreu
  • 17Kuate
  • 16FloodSubstituted forTelferat 70'minutes
  • 7SpittalBooked at 82mins
  • 9MurrayBooked at 90mins
  • 18MikkelsenSubstituted forFraserat 70'minutesSubstituted forNichollsat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Donaldson
  • 10Fraser
  • 11Nicholls
  • 12Telfer
  • 21Zwick
  • 24Robson
  • 35Allardice
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
7,926

Match Stats

Home TeamFalkirkAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home4
Away12
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Falkirk 1, Dundee United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Falkirk 1, Dundee United 2.

Foul by Simon Murray (Dundee United).

Aaron Muirhead (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Aaron Muirhead (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Booking

Simon Murray (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Falkirk 1, Dundee United 2. Paul Dixon (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alex Nicholls.

Wato Kuate (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Nathan Austin (Falkirk).

Booking

Blair Spittal (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Myles Hippolyte (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Blair Spittal (Dundee United).

Booking

Luke Leahy (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alex Nicholls (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luke Leahy (Falkirk).

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. Myles Hippolyte replaces James Craigen.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Alex Nicholls replaces Scott Fraser because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Falkirk 1, Dundee United 1. Simon Murray (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Blair Spittal.

Booking

Mark Durnan (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Nathan Austin (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mark Durnan (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Charlie Telfer replaces Willo Flood.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Scott Fraser replaces Thomas Mikkelsen.

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

Attempt missed. James Craigen (Falkirk) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. Robert McHugh replaces John Baird.

Attempt saved. Simon Murray (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Nathan Austin (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by William Edjenguele (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. Tom Taiwo replaces Joe McKee.

Wato Kuate (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Sibbald (Falkirk).

Foul by Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United).

Paul Watson (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Joe McKee.

Attempt missed. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Second Half

Second Half begins Falkirk 1, Dundee United 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Falkirk 1, Dundee United 0.

Attempt missed. James Craigen (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

goal

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