The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United’s European campaign was dealt a blow as they lost the match courtesy of a Michael Stewart goal after 61 minutes – the only serious effort Hearts had on goal in the entire 90 minutes. Having made the majority of chances United can count themselves seriously unlucky and could have got the equaliser they would have deserved as a minimum reward had Fran Sandaza scored from the penalty he won in the 80th minute. The first threat on goal came for the Tangerines in the 13th minute when Caddis fed the ball to Fran Sandaza who forced visiting goalkeeper Janos Balogh into a decent save with a low right foot drive. Caddis followed up for the rebound but sclaffed his shot slightly and the fortunate Balogh was able to gather whilst stranded on the deck. With the opening quarter coming to a close United again made Hearts worry as this time Sandaza did well to turn and get an effort in with his back to goal in the 6 yard box. Balogh blocked but the ball rebounded to Darren Dods whose close range shot was cleared by Robbie Neilson with the goalkeeper beaten. Sandaza was at the heart of things again moments later as his perseverance led to a long range shooting opportunity for debutant Wesolowski, however he was not about to make a spectacular start to his Tannadice career as his right foot shot sailed over. Disaster struck for the home team when Hearts took a shock lead in the 62nd minute with what was their only shot on target in the match until that point. Michael Stewart had his initial attempt blocked but then sent in a low left foot effort on the rebound from 20 yards out which crept into the bottom right corner beyond the grasp of Zaluska. United hit man Sandaza was desperately unlucky 15 minutes later after for once the ball fell for him in the area and his angled shot rolled agonisingly wide of the post with Balogh helpless. United were given the ideal opportunity to equalise in the 80th minute after a Sandaza run into the box was abruptly ended by a late challenge from Hearts captain Robbie Neilson. With the Hearts man on a booking United were left wondering why a second card was not produced and subsequent crowding of the referee by the Edinburgh team delayed the kick from being taken. With the United fans behind the goal desperately waiting to celebrate Sandaza appeared to catch the ground first and the kick was held by Balogh who dived to his right. As the 90th minute approached Caddis and substitute Jon Daly combined to set up a chance for Dods but his low shot was straight at Balogh. The five minutes of injury time announced gave United fresh hope but the closest they could come was when Buaben had a sight on goal at the edge of the area but could only slice a right foot effort wide.