Inverness: Maurice Malpas relieved to see pressure pay off
Maurice Malpas hopes the focus will be on Inverness reaching another Scottish League Cup semi-final rather than the 12 bookings and red card that blighted their 2-1 win over Dundee United.
"I think it was a marvellous victory for us," said the Inverness assistant manager after Ross Draper's 120th-minute header earned an extra-time win.
"We played up to the last minute of the game, putting balls into the box.
"And eventually Ross Draper scored from of our better cross on the night."
Despite going behind to Keith Watson's powerful shot, Inverness looked the stronger side throughout the match.
However, United were clearly hampered by the red card shown to their striker, Nadir Ciftci, four minutes before half-time.
He and Caley Thistle full-back Graeme Shinnie were involved in a spat after United winger Gary Mackay-Steven had fallen to the ground after a clash with home captain Richie Foran. There followed a brawl between the two teams.
Referee Kevin Clancy showed Ciftci a straight red card and ordered home manager Terry Butcher and United coach Darren Jackson to the stand.
Eight of the dozen bookings in the match were for Ciftci's team-mates, while Gary Warren, Billy McKay, Richie Foran and Carl Tremarco were cautioned for the home side.
"We were disappointed to lose the goal, but after that I thought we dominated the game," was the assessment of Malpas, a former United defender.
"The incident for the sending-off was a bit harum-scarum.
"What happened after that should never happen in a game.
"One or two players went Leeds United [a reference to the infamously robust team managed by Don Revie in the early 1970s]. They lost their heads. They wanted to take the law into their own hands.
"Graeme Shinnie's been grabbed by the throat. Anyone who does that in front of the referee deserves to be sent off.
"But I thought we played well against the 10 men, we passed the ball well."
Inverness levelled the cup tie nine minutes into the second half when Warren powered a header past United's impressive goalkeeper, Radoslaw Cierzniak.
They had Jackie McNamara's side on the back foot thereafter but were toiling in front of goal and the match proceeded to extra-time.
"We had a couple of chances before we scored, but, let's be honest, we thought it was going to penalties," admitted Malpas.
"They defended well with their 10 men, but our boys kept going. It would have been easy for our boys to settle for penalties.
"We played up to the last minute of the game, putting balls into the box, and eventually Ross Draper scored.
"It's credit to the players for that.
"He isn't prolific at scoring with his head, but thankfully it went in."
The victory means Inverness will play in their second Scottish League Cup semi-final in as many years. Last season, they lost to Hearts on penalties and missed the chance to play St Mirren in the final.
"We got a wee tickle at it last year and we were disappointed, so we will see what happens this year," said Malpas.
In the three remaining quarter-finals, Hibernian take on Hearts, Morton host St Johnstone and Motherwell face Aberdeen at Fir Park.