Few teams held any fear for the Tangerines and the draw paired them with German hard-men Borussia Moenchengladbach. Yet another initial home tie served only to frustrate the Arabs, a no-score draw giving the cocky Borussia side a perceived advantage for the return leg. However the amazing counter-attacking style perfected by few Scottish teams worked wonders, with Iain Ferguson again taking the lead and Ian Redford settling matters with yet another final-minute strike. The win echoed a similarly comfortable 5-0 success over the same German side in 1981.
In the 1980s, UEFA Cup finals were two-legged affairs starved of the showpiece neutral venue, but that in itself only served to reinforce the achievement - Dundee would host its first, and probably only, European final on April 22nd 1987.
Over 50,000 fans witnessed the Swedish leg of the tie, and despite giving a fair account of themselves, United were pegged back by Stefan Pettersson's 38th minute goal.
21,000 supporters jammed into Tannadice for a hopefully successful return leg, with an audience of over 70 million tuning in across Europe - firmly putting Dundee and Scotland on the footballing map. However hopes were dashed by a sickening away goal barely 22 minutes into the match, from Lennart Nilsson. John Clark gave the hosts hope on the hour mark, but despite a flurry of chances the Tangerines just couldn't score the two goals needed for victory.
FIFA recognised the fans with the first-ever Fair Play award, a fact recorded by a new family stand at Tanndice bearing the title. That, as much as any sporting achievement, is a legacy worth preserving.
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