The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The return leg with the Swiss brought two new European experiences to United. With the sides locked at 3-3 on aggregate at the end of normal time, we went into an extra time situation for the first time ever. It was during that additional 30 minutes that we suffered another novelty when the Portuguese referee awarded a goal when the ball clearly hadn't entered the net. Yet this tie shouldn't really have had to go into extra time because it was United who got off to a flying start with an early goal to extend the slender lead of the first leg. Eamonn Bannon skipped past a defender on the left before sending over a cross which Ian Redford skilfully directed past Engel's outstretched arm. Fortified by that goal and Xamax rarely threatening, United looked well on the way to the quarter finals. However, a break on the right by Elsener led to Dane Carsten Nielsen heading the ball in at the near post. After the interval, Tommy Coyne, Ralph Milne and Billy Kirkwood all had chances but none was taken and Xamax struck again. A short free kick to Heinz Hermann allowed the midfielder to crack home a 20 yarder just inside Billy Thomson's left hand post. There was no further scoring, even although John Clark had an excellent chance to kill off the Swiss. So it was into extra time and three minutes into the second period of extra time came the controversy. Carsten Nielsen cracked a shot off the underside of the bar which was ultimately collected by Billy Thomson but amazingly the referee, with no indication from his better placed linesman awarded a goal to k.o. United.