The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
A third place league finish and Scottish Cup glory the previous season had clinched European football for Dundee United for the first time in five years. Over 12,000 fans crammed into Tannadice as the Terrors lined up against Greek side AEK Athens in the first leg of their third qualifying round Europa League tie. Peter Houston made one change to his starting line-up from his side's 1-1 draw with St Mirren at the weekend: Keith Watson replacing Darren Dods who dropped to the bench. AEK took control of the game and looked the more comfortable side from the start. The away side - playing in their blue away strip - were first to get close to the opposition goal after eight minutes when good link-up play between Lymperopoulos and Leonardo allowed Kafes into the six-yard box but the man wearing the number one shirt could only poke a weak shot at Pernis. The Greek side did take the lead two minutes later as they caught United somewhat on the counter-attack down the left. Ignacio Scocco saw his initial shot blocked but retained possession to fire the ball right across goal into the path of Rafic Djebbour who slid in at the backpost to force the ball high into the top corner of the net. United's first chance came when David Goodwillie found himself wide on the right and his cross was met by captain Daly but he could only head it well over the bar. The rest of the half was played out as United failed to put any flowing football together. It was the second half before United finally gave the crowd something to get out of their seats for after 52 minutes when Conway did well at the corner flag before cutting inside and powering a shot at goal that was blocked by a well-placed defender. United were now playing at a higher tempo and managing to get round the Greek defence but the threat from AEK was always there. Two former Premiership men were introduced with ten minutes to go as Papa Bouba Diop came on for AEK while Peter Houston replaced Scott Robertson with Danny Cadamarteri as he desperately pushed for a vital equaliser. It nearly came seconds later as United had what was to be their best chance of the game. Paul Dixon managed to find Daly unmarked in the box but, perhaps not realising how much time and space he had, the United captain turned quickly and scuffed his left-foot shot harmlessly wide. The Greek side did enough to hold out for a clean sheet and put themselves in pole position going into the second leg in Athens.