Scottish Cup
Inverness CTInverness Caledonian Thistle0Dundee UtdDundee United5

Inverness CT 0-5 Dundee United

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland
Highlights - Inverness CT 0-5 Dundee Utd

Dundee United blew nine-man Inverness away to storm into the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Nadir Ciftci took advantage of comical defending to grab the first two, before Gavin Gunning fired home a penalty.

Greg Tansey was sent off before half-time when his studs caught the top of Paul Paton's foot.

Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong added further strikes, followed by a second red card for the hosts when Marley Watkins was also sent packing.

The Tangerines - last winners in 2010 - join Aberdeen and St Johnstone in Sunday evening's semi-final draw, and also erased memories of October's controversial Scottish League Cup defeat in the Highlands.

Inverness, meanwhile, have now conceded ten goals in their last two games, and need to re-find their form quickly with the League Cup final against Aberdeen just seven days away.

With the game crying out for inspiration after a dull opening, Dundee United produced it.

Nadir Ciftci (centre) celebrates Dundee United's second goal against Inverness with Gary Mackay-Steven (left) and Paul Paton (right).
Ciftci (centre) capitalised on poor Inverness defending to net two goals

John Rankin picked out Ciftci with a neat lob forward and, with Josh Meekings struggling to close him down, the Turk was able to nod the ball past Dean Brill and slot into the net.

It was great skill from the United striker, but Inverness had not defended the long ball well after David Raven gifted possession in midfield.

The goal sparked the game into life. Tansey flighted in a free-kick which Gary Warren was able to nod into the path of the ever-dangerous Billy McKay, but he headed over from close range.

If the opening goal had been defended poorly, United's second was a catalogue of errors.

Meekings' pass-back held up in the mud, but Brill looked like he had rushed out in time to deny Ciftci. However, the goalkeeper cannoned his clearance off the defender, allowing the United striker to latch onto the loose ball and knock it into the empty net.

Inverness full-back Graeme Shinnie had a shot saved before Keith Watson was denied from close range at the other end, but John Hughes' men kicked themselves in the foot again to all but hand the visitors a place in the last four before half-time.

Shinnie took the back of Gunning's legs inside the area, sending the centre-back sprawling in the box. The Irishman took the penalty himself, rocketing his shot down the middle.

The half-time whistle could not come quick for the hosts, but the misery continued as Tansey was given a straight red card by referee Willie Collum for his lunge at Paton.

If the Highlanders were to have any hope of keeping alive their cup dreams they simply had to score next, and Shinnie burst through the middle past Ryan Dow and Rankin before unleashing a swerving shot that Radoslaw Cierzniak did well to push away.

However, within four minutes of the second-half Dundee United had the game wrapped up. Armstrong picked out Mackay-Steven wide on the left wing, and the winger raced clear before firing the ball in off the far post.

United were now rampant. Watson picked out Armstrong in the middle and he directed his header beyond Brill to add a fifth.

The day continued to get worse for Inverness. Watkins saw red when he caught Paton with a late challenge. It was perhaps harsh on the home side, with Paton himself earlier given a reprieve for a similar challenge on McKay.

Substitute Brian Graham twice fired over in the latter stages but United could not add a sixth, as they booked a place in one of next month's semi-finals at Ibrox Stadium.


Inverness CT

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Brill
  • 2Raven
  • 3Shinnie
  • 4Vincent
  • 5Warren
  • 6Meekings
  • 15WatkinsBooked at 72mins
  • 16TanseyBooked at 44mins
  • 7MckaySubstituted forChristieat 87'minutes
  • 9ForanSubstituted forPolworthat 60'minutes
  • 10DoranSubstituted forWilliamsat 60'minutes


  • 1Esson
  • 11Ross
  • 14Devine
  • 18Tremarco
  • 19Williams
  • 20Polworth
  • 36Christie

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 12Watson
  • 26Robertson
  • 8RankinSubstituted forGomisat 59'minutes
  • 5Gunning
  • 2Dillon
  • 10S Armstrong
  • 6Paton
  • 21CiftciBooked at 28minsSubstituted forGrahamat 60'minutes
  • 18DowSubstituted forEl Alaguiat 54'minutes
  • 11Mackay-StevenBooked at 74mins


  • 4Butcher
  • 9Graham
  • 16Wilson
  • 20Souttar
  • 25McCallum
  • 27Gomis
  • 29El Alagui
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamDundee Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Inverness CT 0, Dundee United 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Dundee United 5.

  3. Post update

    Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high following a fast break.

  6. Post update

    James Vincent (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Inverness CT. Ryan Christie replaces Billy McKay.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by David Raven.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Gary Warren.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Raven (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

  13. Post update

    Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

  15. Post update

    Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

  18. Post update

    Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Booking

    Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).