Dundee United 2 MyPa 47 2....... Dumped out in Dundee, again.
After a decent, if uninspiring 0-0 draw and showing in Finland two weeks ago, Dundee United welcomed MyPa 47 to Tannadice for the 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup qualifier. Hopes were clearly high in the pubs around Tannadice before kick off and the beer-filled chat was about progression and potential for group stage UEFA Cup football in Dundee.
For recent times at Tannadice, a good crowd turned out – around the 10,000 mark. Personally speaking following United’s exploits of the 80s, it has been ashame to have seen the crowds dwindle. But they were loud as, like Saturday at Ibrox, the home support sloshed to Amarillo……
Main team news was that captain Paul Ritchie was back from injury.
United kicked off with a cautious approach, attacking with 4-4-2. They needed a goal, but also mindful not to concede. And they almost did inside 2 minutes as Adriano broke onto a mistake which was well parried by Stillie, only for the same player to miss a sitter. MyPa 47 were clearly here for a goal.
However, as United settled and came back into the game, the United fans taunted their First Division rivals and ex-manager by singing "Duffy’s on the dole". As this rang round Tannadice with 8 minutes gone, a high cross into the box was met freakishly by the back of Barry Robson’s head and United should have been a goal to the good.
However, the inevitable was merely delayed for a minute. As a cross was headered out to Mark Kerr, the exciting midfielder controlled well and arrowed a drive into the far corner of the net. Dundee United 1 MyPa47 0.
By this stage the very impressive Grant Brebner and Mark Kerr were running the midfield and United were comfortable. How many times have we heard that about Scottish sides in European competition?!
United kept pressing forward and on 21 minutes it looked 2-0. Some neat build up play saw Mark Wilson swing in a deep cross and Barry Robson scored with a powerful header, but was adjudged to have fouled the defender. From high in the press box it looked harsh.
Almost half an hour on the clock and MyPa47 should have been level. A nothing ball thrown into the box, Derek Stillie missed it completely as Adriano again missed the target. For all United’s good play, as happened at Fir Park, the defending left a lot to be desired.
Straight away it was 2-0 to United. Yet more great passing play going forward released Barry Robson on the left. His low cross went all the way through to the enigma that is Collin Samuel, who thrashed it home. Dundee United 2 MyPa47 0.
But still MyPa47 were not beaten and the United defensive frailties were on show again. Yet another cross from the right evaded everyone, including the striker, and the ball drifted wide. Another warning from United that they could not rest on their laurels.
Halftime – a good, open first half with plenty of chances for both sides; but United were largely in control despite their scares.
The second half started as frantically as the first finished with United dictating the pace and Lee Miller continuing to harass and bully the MyPa47 defence. Only 5 minutes gone and he released Samuel down the right side, who was chopped down by the MyPa centre half. A booking and the free kick caused havoc in the defence again. Chants of "easy easy" rang round the stadium.
It was all Dundee United by this point, MyPa47 looked every inch the defeated side. Almost on the hour, Mark Kerr should have put United further in front as he stole the ball 20 yards out, only to lash it wildly wide.
On 70 minutes, the chance to kill the tie came and went. Jim McIntyre turned his marker well and floated a cross to the edge of the 6 yard box. The header was touched onto the bar and Lee Miller fought to force the ball over the line, only to be thwarted by three defenders.
Confusion reigned 4 minutes later. A low cross into the box was flicked clear by Stillie only for the striker to be pulled down in the box. The referee appeared to allow play to continue for 5 or 6 seconds, before pulling the play back for the penalty. Bizarre.
Adriano finished with as good a penalty as you’ll see, and despite all of Dundee United’s superiority it was game on. Dundee United 2 MyPa47 1.
The game became far more open and stretched, Mark Kerr moved into a more defensive role as United started to panic. Another decent shout for a penalty was denied on 80 minutes and from a position of ease, United had backs to the wall.
Almost straight away, Barry Robson broke from the left, only to be denied by a superb save. All of a sudden, it was all United again. It was fraught, but highly entertaining in a "cannae defend for toffee" manner!
3 minutes injury time shown, United had a dangerous free kick wide on the right. It was played back out the Barry Robson who chipped in. Paul Ritchie had the chance, but hoofed it over.
And that was that.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Tannadice, a good game of attacking football and a second half that Hans Christian Anderson could have penned and been proud of. Another Scottish club falls to a so-called "pub side".
Dundee Utd: Stillie, Wilson, Ritchie, Archibald, Duff, Samuel (Crawford 76), Kerr, Brebner, Robson, Miller, McIntyre
Subs Not Used: Samson, McCracken, Dodds, Kenneth, Cameron, Callaghan.
Booked: Archibald, Duff
Goals: Kerr 15, Samuel 29
MyPa-47: Korhonen, Huttunen, Miranda, Lindstrom, Kononen, Taipale (Kaijasilta 74), Karhu, Haapala, Kuparainen, Tarvajarvi (Manso 58), Adriano
Subs Not Used: Kiljunen, Puhakainen, Muinonen, Kansikas, Lappalainen
Booked: Miranda, Kononen, Haapala
Goals: Adriano 74 pen, 81
Ref: Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez (Orense).