The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Dundee United were cruelly denied a famous victory after losing to Rangers in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the CIS Cup final at Hampden.Craig Levein made a few changes to the anticipated starting line-up, with Craig Conway, Darren Dods and Sean Dillon surprise omissions from the eleven. Mihael Kovacevic was given only his second start for the club, while Garry Kenneth, who impressed against Celtic in midweek, was preferred to Dods.Rangers’ line-up had a European look about it, with the suspended duo of Nacho Novo and Charlie Adam being replaced by Chris Burke and Lee McCulloch in a 4-5-1 formation.After dominating the first half, United went into half-time 1-0 up thanks to a Noel Hunt strike. A cross from Christian Kalvenes was spilled by Allan McGregor under pressure from Mark de Vries, leaving Noel Hunt to force the ball home in the ensuing goalmouth scramble.Rangers looked more dangerous in the second half, having brought on Darcheville for Hemdani and Boyd for Papac, but it was United who had the first opportunity of note.Kalvenes advanced down the left and forced his way into box, only to be wrestled to the floor by Carlos Cuellar, but the referee Kenny Clark waved away claims for a penalty.However, United were pegged back with just minutes of the 90 remaining when Kris Boyd pounced on a Mark Kerr pass-back to fire past Lukasz Zaluska and take the match into extra time. United recovered from the set-back and a Mark de Vries wonder goal in the first period of extra time – his first goal for the club – put Craig Levein’s men 2-1 in front.But Kris Boyd rescued Walter Smith’s side when he snatched his second of the afternoon – bundling home a back post header with just eight minutes to go – to take the match to penalties. In the shoot-out, Willo Flood stepped up to put United 1-0 up before Jean-Claude Darcheville smacked his effort off the under side of the bar and out.Craig Conway then saw his strike come back off the post and Stephen Whittaker made it 1-1.United went 2-1 up when de Vries coolly slotted home, but Rangers levelled through Steven Davis.David Robertson saw his penalty parried away by McGregor, but Zaluska saved Lee McCulloch’s effort to keep the score at 2-2.United captain Lee Wilkie then stepped up, only to see his penalty saved, leaving Boyd to break Tangerine hearts for a third time when he slammed home the winner and ended United's hopes of a fairytale victory for their chairman, Eddie Thompson.