United pay the penalty
Wed 31st Oct 7.15pm
Dundee United eventually went out on penalties against ten-man Hearts in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final at Tannadice.
The contest finished 1-1 after extra-time following Johnny Russell cancelling out Callum Paterson's opener for the visitors ten minutes before half-time.
Hearts later had Darren Barr sent-off with just over ten minutes of normal time remaining but still went through 5-4 on penalties after the returning Gary Mackay-Steven, John Rankin and Sean Dillon all missed during the shoot-out.
Latest signing Rudi Skacel was named on the bench by manager Peter Houston against his former club but it was Lithuanian forward Arvydas Novikovas soon drilling wide for the visitors.
They continued to enjoy more of the play and took the lead when Paterson stole in to despatch Ryan Stevenson's cross beyond Polish keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.
Danny Grainger also had an effort parried away by Cierniak while Mehdi Taouil narrowly missed as the visitors threatened to extend their lead.
But they were pegged back on 35 minutes when Russell stabbed in after Michael Gardyne's shot received a deflection off ex-United defender Andy Webster.
Stuart Armstrong drove wide for the hosts after goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald had punched away from Gavin Gunning following the break, although it was Paterson much closer to his second when his overhead attempt struck an upright and fell harmlessly into the clutches of Cierzniak.
But the dismissal of Barr following fouls in quick succession on both Willo Flood and Russell appeared to throw proceedings firmly in favour of the hosts.
Czech playmaker Skacel was finally introduced into the action early in extra-time and he saw Novikovas firing a free-kick narrowly wide for his former club before MacDonald denied Rankin at the opposite end.
Rankin also caught the outside of an upright from distance after Skacel had already struck wide from much closer; and despite missing their first couple of penalties, Hearts eventually progressed through in the shoot-out even though Russell, Gunning, Brian McLean and Armstrong each proved successful.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Dillon, Gunning, Daly (McLean 107), Watson, Flood, Rankin, Ryan (Skacel 95), Armstrong, Russell, Gardyne (Mackay-Steven 66)
subs (unused): Banks, Millar
Goals: Russell (35)
Hearts: MacDonald, Grainger, McGowan, Barr, Webster, Zaliukas, Paterson, Stevenson (Robinson 54), Taouil (McGowan 109), Sutton, Novikovas (Driver 97)
subs (unused): Enckelman, Smith
Goals: Paterson (21)
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.