Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County2Dundee UtdDundee United3
By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland
  • United go second top of table
  • Ciftci (2) and Armstrong with United goals
  • Arquin and Maatsen reply for County
  • Liam Boyce red carded for hosts

A textbook display of counter attacking football saw Dundee United edge a five-goal thriller away to Ross County.

The Staggies started brightly but their momentum was halted when Nadir Ciftci rounded Mark Brown to net.

Stuart Armstrong did likewise after a flowing United break, then Ciftci curled in a third for what was looking like a comfortable win.

But Yoann Arquin and Darren Maatsen scored either side of a Liam Boyce red card to set up a frantic finale.

It was a frustrating night for County, who tested visiting goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak on a number of occasions, but remain bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

Yet while lax in defence, United showed their class up front, scoring three well-worked goals to climb to second in the table one point behind Celtic.

County had been punished in their previous two games for starting slowly but, after United's Chris Erskine tested keeper Brown with a low shot, the home side were the brighter of the two sides.

Joe Cardle picked out Steven Ross in space inside the box, but his first touch was poor and he could not get a decent shot away.

The league's bottom club were soon punished for their profligacy, though, when United took the lead.

Armstrong burst free on the left and found Erskine, who had matched his run through the middle. Paul Quinn got a foot to his through ball, but only shunted it into the path of the lurking Ciftci, who rounded Brown to score.

Darren Maatsen hammered in a late goal as Ross County threatened to come back from three goals down.
Darren Maatsen (left) hammered in a late goal as Ross County threatened to earn a draw

Armstrong rattled a shot against Brown's legs before Ross cleared a Ciftci header off the line, while Cierzniak had to gather a Tony Dingwall shot.

County started the second half on the front foot but were 2-0 down within two minutes after a stunning United counter.

Sean Dillon and Erskine combined to find Ciftci, whose backheel found Calum Butcher. He slid a perfectly weighted pass between two defenders, allowing Armstrong to burst past the keeper and roll into the unguarded net.

A third goal followed shortly afterwards after another slick move carved the County defence open.

Butcher won the ball deep and fed Erskine, who flicked a clever pass into the path of Ciftci. The forward stepped across his marker before curling in his second goal.

County did not let their heads drop, though, and Dingwall's stinging shot drew a fine save from Cierzniak.

Reward did finally come when Arquin pounced on John Souttar's misdirected header and drove the ball low past the goalkeeper.

The County substitute stayed on his feet when he could have gone down in the box under a challenge from Cierzniak, and he failed to finish when presented with another decent chance.

Boyce then saw red for a lunge at Paul Paton, but Maatsen kept the game alive when he crashed the ball in off the underside of the bar to reduce the deficit further.

It was a storming finish, and United substitute Gary Mackay-Steven was denied in time added on with a shot from close range.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Brown
  • 8BrittainBooked at 45mins
  • 25Toshney
  • 43Quinn
  • 12Reckord
  • 36Irvine
  • 17RossSubstituted forBoyceat 57'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 30Dingwall
  • 26Woods
  • 7CardleSubstituted forMaatsenat 63'minutes
  • 9JervisSubstituted forArquinat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 5Boyd
  • 6Saunders
  • 14Maatsen
  • 15Arquin
  • 16Boyce
  • 31Dunfield

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 2Dillon
  • 4Souttar
  • 5Fojut
  • 3Townsend
  • 20ButcherBooked at 24minsSubstituted forRankinat 85'minutes
  • 18DowSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 72'minutes
  • 6Paton
  • 17ErskineSubstituted forConnollyat 72'minutes
  • 10Armstrong
  • 7Ciftci

Substitutes

  • 8Rankin
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 12Watson
  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
2,922

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home7
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 2, Dundee United 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Dundee United 3.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Richard Brittain (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 2, Dundee United 3. Darren Maatsen (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Martin Woods.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. John Rankin replaces Calum Butcher.

  9. Dismissal

    Liam Boyce (Ross County) is shown the red card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

  11. Post update

    Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Lewis Toshney.

  15. Post update

    Lewis Toshney (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 1, Dundee United 3. Yoann Arquin (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Yoann Arquin replaces Jake Jervis.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Aidan Connolly replaces Chris Erskine.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Ryan Dow.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1410222891932
2Dundee Utd15101428171131
3Inverness CT1492322121029
4Hamilton1483327141327
5Aberdeen148152017325
6Dundee145541917220
7Kilmarnock146261619-320
8St Johnstone145271217-517
9Partick Thistle144371718-115
10Motherwell143110924-1510
11St Mirren1422101025-158
12Ross County1522111534-198
View full Scottish Premiership table

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