Scottish Challenge Cup: Crusaders and The New Saints kept apart in semi-finals

Crusaders celebrate Gavin Whyte's winner against Dundee United
Gavin Whyte's late goal gave Crusaders a win over Dundee United

A Scottish Challenge Cup final between two non-Scottish teams is a possibility after Crusaders and The New Saints were kept apart after the semi-final draw.

Crusaders' reward for knocking out holders Dundee United is a trip north to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Welsh champions The New Saints, who beat Queen of the South on penalties in the quarter-finals, have been drawn at home to Dumbarton.

The semi-finals will be held on 17 and 18 February.

Details of which game will be held on which day have yet to be announced by the Scottish Professional Football League.

TNS, who have won their domestic title four years running but presently sit third in the Welsh Premier League, reached the same stage last season, losing to St Mirren.

Dumbarton got the better of Raith Rovers at the weekend
Dumbarton got the better of Raith Rovers at the weekend

Crusaders, currently third in Northern Ireland's Premiership, are the first club from their country to make the last four.

Caley Thistle, winners in 2003 and twice runners-up, beat Falkirk in the last eight, while Dumbarton saw off Raith Rovers.

Inverness and Dumbarton are equal on points in seventh and eighth place in the Scottish Championship.

Former Scotland striker Mark Burchill helped carry out the semi-final draw and suggested "they are both big ties".

"I think Crusaders are going to have to do it the difficult way if they are going to get to the final after beating the holders away then travelling to Inverness," said the 37-year-old who was Livingston player-manager when they lifted the trophy in 2015.

"It will be a difficult place to go."

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