Fighting Falkirk turned in a perfect penalty shoot-out display to reach the League Cup semi-finals at the expense of wasteful Dundee United.

The First Division took the lead thanks to a 70th-minute header from Farid El Alagui but Johnny Russell lashed in a powerful shot to level immediately.

Jon Daly knocked in a smart finish in extra time but Ally Graham hit back for the visitors in the 118th minute.

United's Willo Flood was the only man to miss in the spot-kick shoot-out.

Stewart Murdoch kept his cool with the final penalty, prompting wild scenes of celebration from the side that eliminated last season's winners Rangers in the previous round.

United, who are now on a five-match winless run, spurned a number of good chances, with Scott Robertson heading wide after 11 minutes before El Alagui's glancing header was held by home keeper Dusan Pernis.

Lauri Dalla Valle's header had Michael McGovern back-pedalling but the Falkirk goalkeeper tipped the ball onto the bar and out for a corner.

And the Finnish striker diverted a Flood drive wide before Daly latched onto John Rankin's pass, smacking a left-foot volley from the edge of the area off the crossbar.

Daly and Barry Douglas both wasted headers before the Bairns then went ahead against the run of play.

Substitute Dale Fulton's cross was met by a smart El Alagui header which beat Pernis for the striker's 15th goal in 16 games.

The lead was shortlived, however, as Russell's persistence down the left side of the box paid off when he drilled a shot low across goal and into the far corner.

Russell had two further opportunities to find a winner in normal time, but the match went to extra-time.

United went in front after 96 minutes, with Russell the provider, playing the ball through for Daly to shoot in across goal from the right side of the area.

Daly hit the woodwork for a second time when his 25-yard volley from Pernis' long kick crashed onto the bar, with McGovern well beaten.

El Alagui shot across the face of goal from a narrow angle before Daly headed just wide from a Flood corner.

McGovern then saved a Russell effort from 18 yards and Garry Kenneth hit a free-kick off target.

Pernis saved El Alagui's point-blank effort four minutes from time but, soon after, McGovern's clearance evaded the United defence and Graham, who was introduced after 110 minutes, stole in to prod past Pernis.

McGovern then pulled off a great save to claw Gavin Gunning's close-range effort round the post and the tie went to penalties.

After two successful kicks for each side, Flood ballooned his effort over and Murdoch completed a 100% success rate from five efforts for the Bairns to progress.

Dundee United Peter Houston : "In the first half, we created numerous chances and didn't take them and in the second half as well.

"Then we went behind and the players showed great character to get back into it quickly and go ahead.

"The missed chances have cost us and a long punt up the park and what looked like a foul against us with a couple of minutes to go and it's 2-2.

"Good luck to Falkirk, I am very disappointed as it was a game we should have won out the park as we created enough chances to win three matches."

Falkirk director of football Alex Smith : "Steven Pressley has the ability and the temperament to be the manager of a big club. He's got a big future in front of him.

"He's now doing the business for Falkirk Football Club, which is fantastic.

"We're going to Hampden, but we have a chance to get to the final. Let's see the draw first."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Pernis
  • 03 Dixon
  • 05 Kenneth
  • 12 Watson
  • 18 Gunning
  • 06 Flood
  • 08 Robertson (Armstrong - 94' )
  • 11 Rankin
  • 14 Douglas Booked
  • 09 Daly Booked
  • 19 Dalla Valle (Russell - 56' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 20 Allan
  • 15 Russell
  • 22 Dow

Falkirk

  • 01 McGovern
  • 02 Duffy Booked (Liam Dick - 75' )
  • 03 Stephen Kingsley
  • 04 Dods
  • 05 Wallace
  • 06 Murdoch
  • 07 Weatherston
  • 08 Jay Fulton (Graham - 100' )
  • 11 Alston (Fulton - 69' Booked )
  • 09 El Alagui
  • 10 Higginbotham

Substitutes

  • 17 Bowman
  • 12 Fulton
  • 15 Liam Dick
  • 14 Graham
  • 16 Ryan Millar
Ref: Murray
Att: 4,188

Match Stats

Shots

30 8

On target

13 7

Corners

14 6

Fouls

8 16

Live Text Commentary

125:10 Penalty

Stewart Murdoch scores a penalty. Dundee Utd 4-5 Falkirk on penalties.

124:41 Penalty

Penalty scored by Gavin Gunning. Dundee Utd 4-4 Falkirk on penalties.

124:17 Penalty

Kallum Higginbotham scores a penalty. Dundee Utd 3-4 Falkirk on penalties.

123:42 Penalty

Barry Douglas scores a penalty. Dundee Utd 3-3 Falkirk on penalties.

123:12 Penalty

Penalty scored by David Weatherston. Dundee Utd 2-3 Falkirk on penalties.

122:42

Spot kick missed by Willo Flood.

122:00 Penalty

Penalty scored by Farid El Alagui. Dundee Utd 2-2 Falkirk on penalties.

121:31 Penalty

Jon Daly scores a penalty. Dundee Utd 2-1 Falkirk on penalties.

121:10 Penalty

Penalty scored by Dale Fulton. Dundee Utd 1-1 Falkirk on penalties.

120:19 Penalty

Penalty scored by Johnny Russell. Dundee Utd 1-0 Falkirk on penalties.

120:01

The first player steps forward to start the penalty shoot-out.

120:00 +0:48

The match is going to penalties.

119:52

Darren Dods fouled by Jon Daly, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael McGovern.

119:17

Corner from the left by-line taken by Willo Flood, clearance by David Weatherston.

119:04

Shot from 18 yards from Gavin Gunning. Save by Michael McGovern.

118:32

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stewart Murdoch on Jon Daly. Free kick crossed by Paul Dixon.

117:11

Assist by Farid El Alagui.

117:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Ally Graham - Dundee U 2 - 2 Falkirk Ally Graham gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 2-2 Falkirk.

115:57

Dale Fulton crosses the ball, David Weatherston takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

114:58

Farid El Alagui takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save made by Dusan Pernis.

114:51

Liam Dick sends in a cross, save by Dusan Pernis.

114:09

The ball is swung over by Stewart Murdoch, Jon Daly manages to make a clearance.

112:23

Darren Dods concedes a free kick for a foul on Stuart Armstrong. Strike comes in from Garry Kenneth from the free kick.

111:33

Liam Dick concedes a free kick for a foul on Willo Flood. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.

109:57

Foul by Farid El Alagui on Dusan Pernis, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.

107:49

The ball is crossed by Liam Dick, save made by Dusan Pernis.

107:12

Corner from right by-line taken by Liam Dick.

106:58

Shot by David Weatherston from 12 yards. Blocked by Garry Kenneth.

106:18

The ball is swung over by David Weatherston, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.

105:01

The second half of extra time gets under way.

104:13

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the right by-line, save by Michael McGovern.

103:59

Johnny Russell takes a shot. Save by Michael McGovern.

102:51

Outswinging corner taken by Willo Flood, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Jon Daly misses to the left of the goal.

101:39

The ball is swung over by Keith Watson.

101:00

Foul by Farid El Alagui on Garry Kenneth, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.

99:54

Farid El Alagui produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

99:10 Substitution

Substitution Ally Graham on for Jay Fulton.

98:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Dixon on Stewart Murdoch. Free kick taken by Michael McGovern.

98:40

A cross is delivered by Barry Douglas, clearance by Liam Dick.

98:09

Dale Fulton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Rankin. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the free kick.

97:27

Shot from 25 yards from Jon Daly.

97:01 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Dale Fulton for unsporting behaviour.

96:37

Foul by Dale Fulton on Gavin Gunning, free kick awarded. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the free kick.

95:35

Assist by Johnny Russell.

95:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Jon Daly - Dundee U 2 - 1 Falkirk A goal is scored by Jon Daly from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 2-1 Falkirk.

94:30

Farid El Alagui produces a cross, Dusan Pernis makes a save.

93:43 Substitution

Substitution Stuart Armstrong joins the action as a substitute, replacing Scott Robertson.

92:35 Booking

Booking Jon Daly booked for unsporting behaviour.

92:24

Foul by Jon Daly on Murray Wallace, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael McGovern.

91:33

Barry Douglas has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

90:00 +3:41

The whistle goes for the end of normal time.

90:00 +1:21

Unfair challenge on Stephen Kingsley by Barry Douglas results in a free kick. Michael McGovern restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:21 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Barry Douglas for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:01

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Willo Flood,

89:56

Foul by Farid El Alagui on Garry Kenneth, free kick awarded. Garry Kenneth takes the free kick.

89:02

Effort by John Rankin from a long way out goes over the target.

88:00

Dale Fulton delivers the ball, Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

86:47

The ball is delivered by Keith Watson, Darren Dods manages to make a clearance.

85:36

Foul by Gavin Gunning on Farid El Alagui, free kick awarded. Dale Fulton delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.

84:40

Dale Fulton takes the outswinging corner, Jon Daly manages to make a clearance.

84:33

David Weatherston sends in a cross, blocked by Paul Dixon.

83:27

Jon Daly is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Michael McGovern takes the indirect free kick.

82:24

Johnny Russell has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Michael McGovern makes a comfortable save.

79:57

The ball is sent over by Barry Douglas, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Johnny Russell goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

76:36

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the right by-line, Gavin Gunning produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.

74:39 Substitution

Substitution Liam Dick replaces Kieran Duffie.

74:39

Unfair challenge on Barry Douglas by Stewart Murdoch results in a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the direct free kick.

73:15

Outswinging corner taken by Dale Fulton.

72:14

Paul Dixon provided the assist for the goal.

72:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Johnny Russell - Dundee U 1 - 1 Falkirk Johnny Russell fires in a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-1 Falkirk.

71:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Farid El Alagui on Garry Kenneth. Free kick taken by Keith Watson.

69:43

Assist by Dale Fulton.

69:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Farid El Alagui - Dundee U 0 - 1 Falkirk Farid El Alagui finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Dundee Utd 0-1 Falkirk.

69:38

The ball is delivered by Dale Fulton,

69:27

The ball is crossed by Kieran Duffie.

68:30 Substitution

Substitution Dale Fulton replaces Blair Alston.

67:56

A cross is delivered by Keith Watson, Murray Wallace makes a clearance.

67:34

Paul Dixon produces a cross, John Rankin takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Murray Wallace gets a block in.

66:26

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Blair Alston.

66:18

The ball is sent over by Kallum Higginbotham, clearance made by Willo Flood.

65:21

Corner from the right by-line taken by Willo Flood, clearance by Darren Dods.

64:47

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Barry Douglas, Stewart Murdoch makes a clearance.

63:34

Paul Dixon crosses the ball, save by Michael McGovern.

62:17

Foul by Farid El Alagui on Gavin Gunning, free kick awarded. Gavin Gunning takes the direct free kick.

61:53

The ball is swung over by Willo Flood, Murray Wallace makes a clearance.

60:51

The ball is crossed by Keith Watson, Headed effort from inside the area by Barry Douglas misses to the left of the target.

60:19

Jon Daly takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

60:05

Effort on goal by Johnny Russell from 12 yards. Murray Wallace gets a block in.

59:18

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Barry Douglas.

59:09

Shot from 18 yards from Barry Douglas. Blocked by Murray Wallace.

57:06

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.

56:11

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood, Close range header by Jon Daly goes over the bar.

55:24 Substitution

Substitution (Dundee Utd) makes a substitution, with Johnny Russell coming on for Lauri Dalla Valle.

55:03

Kallum Higginbotham is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.

54:00

The ball is delivered by Paul Dixon, Lauri Dalla Valle takes a shot. Save by Michael McGovern.

51:51

Lauri Dalla Valle challenges Darren Dods unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael McGovern takes the indirect free kick.

51:01

Shot on goal by Barry Douglas from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

50:36

Corner taken by Barry Douglas, clearance made by Murray Wallace.

50:18

The ball is swung over by Keith Watson, Kieran Duffie makes a clearance.

47:59

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood, Farid El Alagui makes a clearance.

47:53

Paul Dixon delivers the ball, blocked by David Weatherston.

46:32

Outswinging corner taken by Blair Alston from the right by-line, clearance by Jon Daly.

46:26

The ball is swung over by Kieran Duffie, clearance by Barry Douglas.

45:34

The ball is sent over by Garry Kenneth, save by Michael McGovern.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +1:16 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +0:33

Gavin Gunning produces a left-footed effort from long distance that goes harmlessly over the bar.

44:21

Unfair challenge on Blair Alston by Keith Watson results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Stephen Kingsley from left wing.

43:30

Barry Douglas delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Jon Daly misses to the right of the target.

42:42

The ball is swung over by Kieran Duffie.

41:29

Corner taken by Blair Alston from the right by-line to the near post, Barry Douglas makes a clearance.

38:19

The ball is crossed by Willo Flood.

37:57

Shot by Scott Robertson. Blocked by Murray Wallace.

37:19

The ball is sent over by Paul Dixon, Darren Dods makes a clearance.

34:35

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Paul Dixon, save by Michael McGovern.

34:35 Booking

Booking Kieran Duffie is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

34:17

Kieran Duffie concedes a free kick for a foul on John Rankin.

32:48

Inswinging corner taken by Willo Flood from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Garry Kenneth misses to the right of the goal.

32:28

John Rankin takes a shot. Michael McGovern makes a save.

29:24

Jon Daly takes a shot.

28:29

The ball is delivered by Willo Flood, Effort on goal by Lauri Dalla Valle from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

28:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Willo Flood by Stephen Kingsley. Garry Kenneth crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Darren Dods manages to make a clearance.

27:19

David Weatherston challenges John Rankin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.

25:23

The ball is delivered by Kallum Higginbotham.

24:11

A cross is delivered by Garry Kenneth, save made by Michael McGovern.

23:17

Corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon from the right by-line, clearance by Blair Alston.

22:54

The ball is delivered by Paul Dixon, Lauri Dalla Valle takes a shot. Save by Michael McGovern.

21:17

The ball is delivered by Stephen Kingsley, Farid El Alagui takes a shot. Save made by Dusan Pernis.

19:55

The official flags Kallum Higginbotham offside. Free kick taken by Gavin Gunning.

17:00

Paul Dixon crosses the ball.

16:22

The ball is delivered by Keith Watson, clearance made by Darren Dods.

15:43

The ball is swung over by Paul Dixon, clearance made by Darren Dods.

15:21

Murray Wallace concedes a free kick for a foul on Barry Douglas. Direct free kick taken by Keith Watson.

12:45

Jon Daly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jay Fulton. Stephen Kingsley restarts play with the free kick.

11:08

The assistant referee signals for offside against Farid El Alagui. Gavin Gunning takes the free kick.

10:11

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood, Scott Robertson produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

10:04

Paul Dixon crosses the ball, Stephen Kingsley makes a clearance.

9:50

The ball is crossed by Paul Dixon, clearance by Darren Dods.

7:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kallum Higginbotham on Keith Watson. Free kick taken by Willo Flood.

2:46

John Rankin has a drilled shot. Blocked by Stewart Murdoch.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers