Match ends, Dundee 0, Inverness CT 1.
- Inverness CT claim third place in Premiership
- Edward Ofere scores the only goal
- Five defeats in a row for Dundee
Inverness Caley Thistle secured third place in the Premiership with victory at Dens Park to guarantee European football for the first time.
The sole goal came from Edward Ofere's header after eight minutes.
Dundee striker Greg Stewart had a looping header cleared off the line by Danny Devine and a free-kick well saved by Ryan Esson in a busy first half.
Esson then produced another fine stop to keep out a header from James McPake late in the game.
You have to go back to the 2009 Challenge Cup final for Dundee's last victory over Inverness. That was 10 fixtures ago.
And this fifth consecutive league defeat ended what were already slim hopes of a European spot for Paul Hartley's Dundee side.
Kyle Letheren returned in goal for Dundee for the first time this year and was quickly retrieving the ball from the back of his net when Greg Tansey's cross was headed home by Ofere.
The Nigerian was brought to the Highland club to replace the prolific Billy McKay and his scoring rate of six goals in 11 games is the kind of statistic Inverness had lost when the Northern Ireland international was sold to Wigan in January.
Dundee responded well, with Stewart's header too high for Esson to reach, but Devine was able to hook the ball clear with an athletic leap.
Esson then pushed away a fierce Stewart shot from a narrow angle and the keeper came out on top again just before the break, diving to get a hand on a curling free-kick from the same player.
Marley Watkins almost scored for the visitors with Ofere the provider with a low cross from the right but, on the stretch, Watkins' shot was blocked by Letheren.
The Dees began the second half well but Jim McAlister should have done better than shoot weakly at Esson after a lovely through ball from Luka Tankulic.
Dundee have only won five league games at home this season, a record that has cost them a European qualification place in their first season back in the top flight.
But they were unlucky not to find an equaliser as Esson's brilliance stopped a goal-bound McPake header after the defender was picked out by his former Hibernian team-mate Kevin Thomson.
Just months short of their 21st birthday, the Highlanders can look forward to Europa League football as the Scottish Cup finalists held on to further enhance PFA Scotland Manager of the Year Hughes' reputation.
- 48McGinnSubstituted forWightonat 76'minutes
- 10ThomsonBooked at 62minsSubstituted forHarkinsat 82'minutes
- 14DevineBooked at 73mins
- 16TanseySubstituted forTremarcoat 81'minutes
- 19WilliamsBooked at 39minsSubstituted forDoranat 76'minutes
- 15WatkinsSubstituted forVincentat 64'minutes
- Don Robertson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee 0, Inverness CT 1.
Attempt missed. Luka Tankulic (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Foul by Willie Dyer (Dundee).
Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Luka Tankulic (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by James Vincent (Inverness CT).
Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by James McPake.
Foul by James McPake (Dundee).
Edward Ofere (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Dundee. Gary Harkins replaces Kevin Thomson.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Carl Tremarco replaces Greg Tansey.
Foul by James McPake (Dundee).
Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Ryan Esson.
Attempt saved. James McPake (Dundee) header from very close range is saved in the top left corner.
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by James Vincent.
Substitution, Dundee. Craig Wighton replaces Stephen McGinn.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Aaron Doran replaces Danny Williams.
Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.