Hearts 2 Dundee United 1
Sat 19th Feb 3pm
David Goodwillie missed an injury-time penalty moments after Marius Zaliukas had completed a determined comeback from Hearts as they eventually ran out winners at Tynecastle.
Barry Douglas had earlier headed the visitors into a sixth-minute lead that was cancelled out by Rudi Skacel right on the stroke of half-time.
And after Zaliukas had nodded the home side in front with only a couple of minutes remaining, Ruben Palazuelos was dismissed for tripping David Robertson. But Goodwillie's spot-kick was saved by Marian Kello and he also sent his follow-up wide.
The Taysiders actually had the ball in the back of the net on two minutes when Goodwillie turned in Douglas' corner but the strike was disallowed for a shove on Kello.
However, four minutes later they did it again and this time it stood as Douglas glanced home Goodwillie's cross.
The visitors continued to appear dangerous with Kello blocking at the feet of Goodwillie and Garry Kenneth heading a Douglas cross narrowly wide.
Goalkeeper Dusan Pernis then rescued his side with a smart stop at the other end to keep out Skacel's deflected effort after the ball had been lost by Kenneth, who soon hobbled out of the action and was replaced by latest signing Timothy van der Meulen.
And the Dutchman was attempting to clear moments later after Pernis had fumbled from Stephen Elliott, only for Skacel to stab an equaliser into an unguarded net.
Terrors midfielder Prince Buaben twice tried his luck after the break while Van der Meulen also volleyed over the crossbar as the visitors continued to appear bright.
Hearts had brought winger Andrew Driver off the bench and he was soon forcing a couple of hasty blocks before Zaliukas rose to head in substitute Craig Thomson's corner with just two minutes remaining.
But Palazuelos was then sent-off for taking down David Robertson inside the area during added time and Goodwillie had his penalty saved by Kello - and with it went the visitors' hopes.
Hearts: Kello, Wallace (Thomson 35), Obua (Templeton 46), Webster, Zaliukas, Jonsson, Palazuelos, Suso Santana (Driver 74), Black, Skacel, Elliott
subs (unused): Balogh, Ismael Bouzid, Stevenson, Glen
Goals: Skacel (45), Zaliukas (88)
Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Douglas, Kenneth (van der Meulen 44), Watson, S. Robertson (Shala 90), D. Robertson, Buaben, Goodwillie, Russell (Swanson 80)
subs (unused): Banks, Gomis, Armstrong, Dow
Goals: Douglas (6)
Ref: C. Murray