John Souttar became Dundee United's youngest-ever player at 16 years and 99 days as the defender made his debut in a thrilling draw away to Aberdeen.

The Dons were rewarded for early dominance with Scott Vernon firing the opener from 10 yards after 11 minutes.

Gavin Gunning forced in a close-range reply nine minutes later and Dons goalkeeper Jamie Langfield deflected a Johnny Russell cross into his own net.

But Niall McGinn superb curling second-half free-kick secured a draw.

Souttar had been handed a place in a makeshift defence along with striker Jon Daly and the returning Sean Dillon in the absence of the suspended Brian McLean and absent Keith Watson.

Jon Daly and Gavin Gunning celebrate for United at Pittodrie

Jon Daly and Gavin Gunning celebrate for United at Pittodrie

And the visitors were immediately under pressure as returning Dons duo Russell Anderson and Ryan Fraser combined to create the first opening.

Captain Anderson, a replacement for the injured Andrew Considine, should have done better than head the winger's corner over the crossbar from close range.

Fit-again Fraser, who was preferred to Jamie Masson in midfield, was showing the form that has led to him being linked with a January move from Pittodrie and soon after set up the opening goal.

The teenager cut the ball back from the bye-line after behind found by Cammy Smith following a clever run behind United's static defence and Vernon swept the ball into the net under goalkeeper Radoslav Cierzniak from eight yards.

Aberdeen went close to extending their lead after a mistake by Souttar allowed McGinn to turn Gunning inside out before firing a powerful 14-yard drive that Cierzniak did well to turn on to the crossbar.

Fraser's attempt to head home the rebound was deflected clear and a relieved United, for whom Richie Ryan had started in midfield in place of Mark Millar, started to work their way back into the game.

Yet it was somewhat against the run of play when Gunning stooped low to head the equaliser over the line from close range after Daly's bobbling shot was initially cleared off the line by Vernon.

Encouraged further by that, United were now playing their part fully in an even, exciting game and Russell should have at least found the target from 15 yards after being put clear by a clever Willo Flood chip, but the United striker sent his drive high into the stand.

United did creep ahead when Russell's low cross was missed by the in-rushing Flood at the front post and Langfield allowed the ball to slip through his arms and legs for a bizarre own goal.

McGinn and Clark Robertson both threatened from long range as an indignant Aberdeen responded.

However, the home side almost contributed to their own downfall again early after the break when defender Joe Shaughnessy's mis-kicked clearance struck his own crossbar.

The Dons survived that scare and were soon level when McGinn curled a beautiful 18-yard free-kick into the top corner of the United net with goalkeeper Cierzniak left motionless.

Action was now swinging from end to end and Stuart Armstrong broke clear to fire a low drive off the legs of Dons goalkeeper Langfield and Gunning had claims for a penalty waved away as he headed wide at a corner.

McGinn went close with a carbon copy of his earlier goal, but this time Cierzniak was close enough to save on the line before the Dons striker squandered two late half chances to win all three points.

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Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 03 Robertson
  • 04 Anderson
  • 22 Reynolds
  • 23 Shaughnessy
  • 05 Rae
  • 10 McGinn
  • 11 Hayes Booked
  • 20 Fraser (Hughes - 84' )
  • 09 Vernon
  • 38 Smith (Milsom - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 32 Brown
  • 08 Milsom
  • 18 Hughes
  • 25 Masson
  • 14 Fallon
  • 19 Megginson
  • 21 Magennis

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Douglas
  • 05 Gunning
  • 44 Soutattar (Petrie - 69' )
  • 06 Flood
  • 08 Rankin
  • 10 Ryan
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 07 Russell (Gardyne - 85' )
  • 09 Daly

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 29 Barrett
  • 27 Thomson
  • 40 Petrie
  • 51 Skacel
  • 15 Gardyne
  • 18 Dow
Ref: Muir
Att: 13,176

Match Stats

Shots

13 7

On target

7 3

Corners

7 5

Fouls

8 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:19 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +1:06

Effort on goal by Niall McGinn from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

90:00 +0:08 Substitution

Substitution Cameron Smith leaves the field to be replaced by Robert Milsom.

88:44

Cameron Smith takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

87:20

Centre by Willo Flood, Jamie Langfield makes a save.

85:26

Michael Gardyne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clark Robertson. Mark Reynolds restarts play with the free kick.

84:41 Substitution

Substitution Michael Gardyne replaces Johnny Russell.

83:28

Johnny Hayes crosses the ball, Header from close in by Russell Anderson misses to the left of the goal.

83:28 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Hughes on for Ryan Fraser.

83:28

Barry Douglas challenges Johnny Hayes unfairly and gives away a free kick.

81:26

Willo Flood crosses the ball, save by Jamie Langfield.

79:47

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Johnny Hayes by John Rankin. Johnny Hayes restarts play with the free kick.

78:13

Barry Douglas takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Clark Robertson makes a clearance.

77:28

Clark Robertson sends in a cross, Sean Dillon makes a clearance.

77:09

Stuart Armstrong gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Vernon. Direct free kick taken by Russell Anderson.

75:13

The ball is swung over by Johnny Hayes, Gavin Gunning makes a clearance.

70:48

Johnny Russell fouled by Russell Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Barry Douglas from right channel, save by Jamie Langfield.

70:13

The assistant referee flags for offside against Niall McGinn. Free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

69:02

The assistant referee flags for offside against Niall McGinn. Radoslaw Cierzniak takes the indirect free kick.

68:16 Substitution

Substitution John Souttar leaves the field to be replaced by Darren Petrie.

68:02

The ball is crossed by John Rankin, Joe Shaughnessy gets a block in.

67:03

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Fraser played to the near post, Jon Daly makes a clearance.

64:59

John Rankin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cameron Smith. Strike on goal comes in from Niall McGinn from the free kick, Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.

62:12

Short corner taken by Ryan Fraser from the left by-line.

61:07

Corner taken by Barry Douglas, Close range header by Gavin Gunning goes wide of the left-hand post.

60:28

Barry Douglas takes the direct free kick.

60:28 Booking

Booking The referee books Johnny Hayes for unsporting behaviour.

60:25

Johnny Hayes concedes a free kick for a foul on Stuart Armstrong.

59:37

Scott Vernon produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.

58:19

Unfair challenge on John Rankin by Joe Shaughnessy results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Barry Douglas from left wing, Jamie Langfield makes a save.

56:34

Niall McGinn is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Radoslaw Cierzniak restarts play with the free kick.

55:55

Centre by Johnny Hayes, clearance by Gavin Gunning.

55:05

Stuart Armstrong has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Jamie Langfield makes a save.

54:19

The assistant referee signals for offside against Johnny Hayes. Radoslaw Cierzniak takes the free kick.

52:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Niall McGinn - Aberdeen 2 - 2 Dundee U Niall McGinn scores a goal direct from the free kick from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Aberdeen 2-2 Dundee Utd.

52:15

Gavin Gunning challenges Niall McGinn unfairly and gives away a free kick.

50:34

John Rankin produces a cross.

48:48

Inswinging corner taken by Johnny Hayes from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Johnny Russell.

48:10

Gavin Gunning has a headed effort at goal from just inside the area that misses to the right of the goal.

47:31

Corner taken left-footed by Barry Douglas from the left by-line, clearance made by Mark Reynolds.

46:55

Outswinging corner taken by Willo Flood from the right by-line, clearance by Clark Robertson.

45:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Willo Flood on Johnny Hayes. Ryan Fraser delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +1:12 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

43:49

Shot by Niall McGinn. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

41:52

Clark Robertson takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak. The assistant referee signals for offside against Ryan Fraser. Indirect free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

41:22

Foul by Richie Ryan on Johnny Hayes, free kick awarded. Mark Reynolds takes the direct free kick.

40:37

Joe Shaughnessy sends in a cross, clearance by Jon Daly.

39:22

The referee blows for offside. Russell Anderson takes the free kick.

38:43

Johnny Russell produces a cross, clearance made by Russell Anderson.

37:24

Unfair challenge on Johnny Russell by Mark Reynolds results in a free kick. Willo Flood shoots direct from the free kick.

36:26

Corner taken short by Ryan Fraser.

36:15

Foul by Willo Flood on Ryan Fraser, free kick awarded. Ryan Fraser takes the direct free kick.

35:15

The ball is crossed by Ryan Fraser.

34:41

The referee gives a free kick against Willo Flood for handball. Clark Robertson takes the direct free kick.

33:39

Assist by Johnny Russell.

33:39 Goal scored

Goal! - Jamie Langfield - Aberdeen 1 - 2 Dundee U Jamie Langfield puts the ball into his own goal. Aberdeen 1-2 Dundee Utd.

31:20

Effort from outside the penalty box by Cameron Smith goes wide right of the target.

30:17

Willo Flood fouled by Clark Robertson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Barry Douglas.

29:27

Effort from deep inside the area by Johnny Russell clears the bar.

28:56

John Rankin is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.

25:34

Ryan Fraser sends in a cross.

25:10

The ball is crossed by Ryan Fraser, Sean Dillon manages to make a clearance. Ryan Fraser decides to take a short corner.

24:51

Johnny Russell takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

24:13

Centre by Cameron Smith, Willo Flood manages to make a clearance. Johnny Hayes takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Johnny Russell.

23:29

Unfair challenge on Barry Douglas by Johnny Hayes results in a free kick. Richie Ryan restarts play with the free kick.

19:49

Barry Douglas provided the assist for the goal.

19:49 Goal scored

Goal! - Gavin Gunning - Aberdeen 1 - 1 Dundee U Gavin Gunning finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Aberdeen 1-1 Dundee Utd.

18:10

Russell Anderson challenges John Rankin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Centre by Barry Douglas,

16:51

The referee blows for offside against Johnny Russell. Free kick taken by Russell Anderson.

16:25

Centre by Scott Vernon, Gavin Gunning manages to make a clearance.

15:35

The ball is sent over by Clark Robertson, Effort from inside the area by Niall McGinn misses to the right of the goal.

14:48

Shot by Niall McGinn. Save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

14:05

The ball is sent over by Barry Douglas, clearance made by Russell Anderson.

13:12

Foul by Richie Ryan on Cameron Smith, free kick awarded. Johnny Hayes delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

12:10

Cameron Smith crosses the ball.

10:29

Assist by Ryan Fraser.

10:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Scott Vernon - Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dundee U Scott Vernon scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aberdeen 1-0 Dundee Utd.

10:24

Ryan Fraser produces a cross,

9:42

Foul by Willo Flood on Ryan Fraser, free kick awarded. Mark Reynolds takes the free kick.

8:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Johnny Hayes by John Rankin. Russell Anderson takes the direct free kick.

6:40

The ball is sent over by Niall McGinn.

5:45

Barry Douglas takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Jamie Langfield makes a save.

3:38

Johnny Hayes takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Russell Anderson produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

1:43

Mark Reynolds concedes a free kick for a foul on Johnny Russell. Free kick taken by Jon Daly.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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