Gregory Tade's early strike was enough to hand Inverness victory over Aberdeen as the visitors held out with 10 men.
Billy McKay rounded home goalkeeper Jason Brown before setting up Tade in front of goal after 10 minutes.
Kari Arnason cleared a Richie Foran effort off the line as Caley Thistle dominated the first half.
The Dons rallied, but they could not make 45 minutes of pressure tell despite Josh Meekings's 58th-minute dismissal for a second yellow card.
And it officially ended the home side's hopes of catching Hearts to finish in the Scottish Premier League's top six.
Mitch Megginson replaced Rory Fallon in the Dons forward line, with the New Zealand international dropping to the bench.
Owain Tudur Jones returned to the midfield for Inverness, without a win in seven matches, with on-loan Wolves striker Sam Winnall having to settle for being a sub.
Terry Butcher's side lost goalkeeper Ryan Esson with an injury picked up during the pre-match warm-up and was replaced with Jonny Tuffey.
The Northern Ireland international was under immediate pressure and clawed away a Rory McArdle cross, with Gavin Rae slicing wide from the corner.
However, it was Inverness who took the lead when McKay pounced on Tade's head-flick before rounding Brown and sending his low cross from the bye-line into the unmarked Frenchman's path a mere two yards from goal.
Scott Vernon failed to make the most of space allowed him on the edge of the Inverness box and fired weakly at Tuffey and McKay also failed to find the right power and direction at the other end with a shot across the face of goal.
Caley Thistle were denied a second by Arnason's goalline clearance following Foran's low drive from 12 yards as the ball bobbled about the home penalty box.
Having been hesitant and lacklustre, Aberdeen came out fired up after the break and created more in the first couple of minutes than they had in the whole of the opening 45 as the ball pinged around the Caley Thistle penalty area.
The visitors were fortunate not to concede a free-kick on the edge of their own box when Graeme Shinnie slipped and controlled the ball on the ground with his hand.
Their luck was out seconds later when Meekings was shown a second yellow card after a late challenge on Vernon.
The Dons were piling on the pressure without creating clear-cut chances and were fortunate when Tade mis-hit from just inside the box after a rare dangerous break from the visitors.
Caley Thistle were also left short-handed in the dugout when assistant Maurice Malpas was sent to the stand after a touchline protest as the Dons continued to press.
However, they were thankful for Tuffey's strong fists as the goalkeeper parried clear a 16-yard drive from substitute Mohamed Chalali.
- 32 Brown
- 02 McArdle Booked
- 03 Reynolds
- 06 Considine
- 13 Robertson
- 07 Clark (Chalali - 59' Booked )
- 11 Arnason (Pawlett - 46' )
- 22 Jack
- 28 Rae Booked
- 09 Vernon
- 23 Megginson (Fallon - 68' )
- 01 Langfield
- 05 Mawene
- 15 Pawlett
- 10 Mackie
- 14 Fallon
- 18 Chalali
- 21 Magennis
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
- 12 Tuffey
- 03 Tokely
- 16 Golobart
- 19 Shinnie Booked
- 26 Meekings Dismissed after an earlier booking
- 04 Tudur-Jones (Williams - 83' )
- 08 Tansey (Proctor - 68' )
- 09 Foran
- 15 Tade
- 18 Sutherland
- 21 McKay (Piermayr - 60' )
- 25 Mathison
- 14 Proctor
- 24 Williams
- 02 Piermayr
- 11 Ross
- 17 Morrison
- 20 Winnall
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +2:27
Mark Reynolds delivers the ball, clearance by Gregory Tade.90:00 +1:50
Rory McArdle sends in a cross, Richie Foran makes a clearance.90:00 +1:09
The ball is sent over by Clark Robertson, Graeme Shinnie makes a clearance.90:00 +0:43
Corner taken by Ryan Jack from the left by-line, clearance by Ross Tokely.89:26
Peter Pawlett fouled by David Proctor, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Reynolds.88:39
Free kick taken by Jonny Tuffey.88:39 Booking
Booking Mohamed Chalali goes into the referee's book.88:34
Mohamed Chalali concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran.87:21
Andrew Considine delivers the ball.85:38
Shot from just outside the box by Peter Pawlett misses to the right of the target.84:49
The referee blows for offside against Mohamed Chalali. Jonny Tuffey takes the free kick.82:06 Substitution
Substitution Owain Tudur Jones leaves the field to be replaced by Steve Williams.81:34
Mohamed Chalali produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.79:51
Corner taken right-footed by Ryan Jack from the left by-line, save made by Jonny Tuffey.79:34
Clark Robertson crosses the ball, clearance made by Ross Tokely.78:52
Centre by Clark Robertson, Graeme Shinnie manages to make a clearance.78:01
Mohamed Chalali takes a shot. Save made by Jonny Tuffey.76:11 Booking
Booking Booking for Graeme Shinnie.72:15
Effort from outside the penalty box by Ryan Jack goes wide right of the goal.
Unfair challenge on Ross Tokely by Rory Fallon results in a free kick. Jonny Tuffey takes the free kick.70:22
Shot from just outside the penalty box by Ryan Jack misses to the left of the target.70:14
Centre by Clark Robertson, clearance made by Ross Tokely.68:00 Substitution
Substitution Mitchel Megginson leaves the field to be replaced by Rory Fallon.67:39 Substitution
Substitution Greg Tansey leaves the field to be replaced by David Proctor.67:23
Gregory Tade produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.66:57
Shot by Mohamed Chalali. Save by Jonny Tuffey.66:23
Ryan Jack produces a cross, Ross Tokely makes a clearance.64:25
Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Jack, save by Jonny Tuffey.63:03
Mohamed Chalali has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.60:38
Richie Foran concedes a free kick for a foul on Mohamed Chalali. Direct free kick taken by Clark Robertson.59:37 Substitution
Substitution Thomas Piermayr replaces Billy McKay.58:20 Substitution
Substitution Chris Clark goes off and Mohamed Chalali comes on.57:12 Dismissal
Dismissal The referee shows Josh Meekings a red card for second bookable offence.54:16
Mitchel Megginson challenges Ross Tokely unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jonny Tuffey.53:13
Clark Robertson crosses the ball, Graeme Shinnie manages to make a clearance.52:12
Free kick crossed right-footed by Mark Reynolds, clearance made by Josh Meekings.52:12 Booking
Booking Josh Meekings receives a yellow card.52:00
Unfair challenge on Mitchel Megginson by Josh Meekings results in a free kick.50:51
Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter Pawlett on Ross Tokely. Direct free kick taken by Jonny Tuffey.50:25
Centre by Chris Clark, clearance by Roman Golobart.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Peter Pawlett replaces Kari Arnason.45:00 +2:23 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.45:00 +0:34
Mark Reynolds challenges Billy McKay unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Greg Tansey.43:09
Unfair challenge on Billy McKay by Andrew Considine results in a free kick. Shane Sutherland shoots direct from the free kick, save by Jason Brown.38:27 Booking
Booking Gavin Rae is given a yellow card.38:05
Gregory Tade fouled by Gavin Rae, the ref awards a free kick. Roman Golobart restarts play with the free kick.36:27
Free kick awarded for a foul by Greg Tansey on Mitchel Megginson. Mark Reynolds takes the free kick.35:43
Gregory Tade produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.33:19
The offside flag is raised against Billy McKay. Andrew Considine takes the free kick.31:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran by Gavin Rae. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Shane Sutherland from right by-line, clearance made by Rory McArdle.30:58
The official flags Gregory Tade offside. Jason Brown takes the free kick.27:53
Effort from outside the penalty box by Shane Sutherland goes wide right of the goal.27:45
The ball is delivered by Graeme Shinnie, clearance made by Gavin Rae.25:39
Effort from 35 yards by Owain Tudur Jones missed to the right of the goal.23:46
Unfair challenge on Kari Arnason by Greg Tansey results in a free kick. Andrew Considine takes the free kick.23:27
Richie Foran takes a shot. Blocked by Rory McArdle.22:41
Richie Foran fouled by Kari Arnason, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Graeme Shinnie, clearance made by Rory McArdle.22:05
Foul by Roman Golobart on Mitchel Megginson, free kick awarded. Rory McArdle takes the direct free kick.21:24
Richie Foran gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kari Arnason. Rory McArdle takes the direct free kick.20:18
Kari Arnason fouled by Owain Tudur Jones, the ref awards a free kick. Rory McArdle restarts play with the free kick.15:45
Billy McKay produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.15:19
Andrew Considine gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Billy McKay. Roman Golobart takes the direct free kick.14:56
Free kick awarded for a foul by Richie Foran on Kari Arnason. Direct free kick taken by Andrew Considine.13:49
Scott Vernon takes a shot. Save made by Jonny Tuffey.11:44
Foul by Roman Golobart on Mitchel Megginson, free kick awarded. Ryan Jack crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Greg Tansey.11:31
Centre by Mitchel Megginson, Roman Golobart gets a block in.9:12
Billy McKay provided the assist for the goal.9:12 Goal scored
Goal! - Gregory Tade - Aberdeen 0 - 1 Inverness Gregory Tade fires in a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aberdeen 0-1 Inverness CT.7:39
Greg Tansey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gavin Rae. Free kick taken by Mark Reynolds.5:46
Corner taken by Ryan Jack, Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Gavin Rae goes wide of the left-hand post.5:39
Rory McArdle delivers the ball, clearance made by Josh Meekings.2:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Rory McArdle on Gregory Tade. Owain Tudur Jones shoots direct from the free kick.2:11 Booking
Booking Rory McArdle receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.2:08
The ball is delivered by Chris Clark.0:00
The referee starts the match.
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