Ross Draper's header late in extra-time sent Inverness Caledonian Thistle into the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup against 10-man Dundee United.

Full-back Keith Watson smashed United into an early lead, but Inverness had the edge before the visitors's Nadir Ciftci was sent off after a mass brawl.

Gary Warren's bullet header levelled for the hosts on 54 minutes, but United held on to take the tie to extra-time.

It looked like penalties would decide it, but Draper headed the late winner.

Both teams have performed well in the opening quarter of the Scottish Premiership season.

But, as Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher highlighted prior to kick-off, this season's League Cup is wide open, especially given Celtic's exit at the hands of Morton.

Butcher named the same starting line-up that began the abandoned Highland derby on Friday, presumably thinking his players would be fresh after only 45 minutes of action.

However, his team were trailing after only five minutes. Ryan Gauld sent a cross-field pass into the path of United full-back Watson and his powerful shot fizzed past the helpless Dean Brill.

Aaron Doran looked the player most likely to create or score an equaliser for Inverness and his ball across the face of goal was ideal for Billy McKay to convert - but midfelder John Rankin did just enough to prevent the Northern Irishman from applying the finishing touch.

Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci is sent off by Kevin Clancy

Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci is sent off by Kevin Clancy

Both teams attacked at will, Inverness buoyed by the goal and United still on a high from their stylish display in their 4-0 win over St Mirren at Tannadice on Saturday.

Despite that performance, United boss Jackie McNamara had made three changes, with John Souttar, Mark Wilson and Brian Graham dropping to the bench and Watson, Sean Dillon and Stuart Armstrong earning starts.

Terrors goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak showed good hands to gather a long-range strike by Doran and the Pole was relieved to watch a subsequent first-time strike by the Irishman flash narrowly wide.

Tempers frayed at the end of the first half and, following Richie Foran's collision with Gary Mackay-Steven, referee Kevin Clancy sent off Ciftci for his involvement in the aftermath.

Ciftci's team-mates Gavin Gunning and Paul Paton picked up bookings, as did Foran, while Mackay-Steven also went into the book.

Clancy then ordered Butcher and United assistant boss Darren Jackson to the stand for their vocal interventions.

Inverness, for all their effort, were a goal down at the break, but they soon made their one-man advantage count after half-time as Graeme Shinnie's free-kick was met by Warren, who powered a header past Cierzniak from five yards for his second goal of the season.

With their tails up, they created a second chance that ought to have completed the comeback - but Doran was denied by a brave save by the United keeper, who hurt himself in doing so and subsequently struggled with his movement.

Dillon, Rankin and left-back Andrew Robertson were booked as United fought to avoid going behind, meaning six of their remaining 10 players risked joining Ciftci in the changing room.

Gunning deflected a late Doran shot wide to ensure the match went into extra-time and again it was Caley Thistle who threatened in the first 30-minute period when McKay hit an effort wide.

The home side continued to press and, as a shoot-out loomed, Danny Williams lofted a cross to the back post where Draper was lurking to thump a header beyond Cierzniak and end United's League Cup challenge.

Lineup, Bookings (14) & Substitutions (6)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Brill
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 18 Tremarco Booked (Polworth - 107' )
  • 08 Draper
  • 05 Warren Booked
  • 06 Meekings
  • 15 Watkins (Williams - 85' )
  • 09 Foran Booked
  • 07 McKay Booked
  • 11 Ross (Agdestein - 100' )
  • 10 Doran

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 14 Devine
  • 19 Williams
  • 20 Polworth
  • 23 Agdestein

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 04 Watson
  • 03 Robertson Booked (Butcher - 80' )
  • 08 Rankin Booked
  • 02 Dillon Booked
  • 05 Gunning Booked
  • 07 Gauld
  • 06 Paton Booked
  • 09 Ciftci Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 10 Armstrong (Graham - 45' Booked )
  • 11 Mackay-Steven Booked (Gomis - 45' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 12 Butcher
  • 13 McCallum
  • 14 Gomis
  • 15 Goodwillie
  • 16 Graham
Ref: Kevin Clancy
Att: 2,133

Match Stats

Shots

19 11

On target

7 1

Corners

9 5

Fouls

16 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Inverness CT 2, Dundee United 1.

120:00 +3:05

Second Half Extra Time ends, Inverness CT 2, Dundee United 1.

120:00 +2:00

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

120:00 +1:59

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

120:00 +1:15 Booking

Booking Brian Graham (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

120:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 2, Dundee United 1. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

114:58

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Morgaro Gomis.

114:26

Torbjorn Agdestein (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

114:26

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

110:35

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

110:35

Foul by Ryan Gauld (Dundee United).

109:59 Booking

Booking Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

109:48

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

109:48

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

106:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Liam Polworth replaces Carl Tremarco.

105:00

Second Half Extra Time begins Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

105:57

First Half Extra Time ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

104:45

Foul by Torbjorn Agdestein (Inverness CT).

104:45

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

101:18

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

100:53

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

100:53

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

99:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Torbjorn Agdestein replaces Nick Ross.

99:00

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

97:38

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

97:38

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

92:52

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

92:38

Attempt blocked. Richie Foran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

90:00

First Half Extra Time begins Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +3:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +2:52 Booking

Booking Richie Foran (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +2:22

Attempt saved. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

90:00 +0:08

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

89:58

Attempt blocked. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

89:14 Booking

Booking Billy McKay (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

89:04

(Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:04

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

88:06

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

86:17

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:17

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

84:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Williams replaces Marley Watkins.

84:13

Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

84:13

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

81:52

Attempt missed. Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

79:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Calum Butcher replaces Andrew Robertson because of an injury.

76:38

Hand ball by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

73:48

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

72:33

Attempt missed. Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

72:04

Attempt blocked. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

71:00

Attempt blocked. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

68:06

Dangerous play by Ryan Gauld (Dundee United).

68:06

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:41

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

63:08

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:08

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

60:30 Booking

Booking Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

60:23

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

60:23

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

58:34

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from very close range is too high.

58:05

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is too high.

57:45

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Richie Foran.

57:26

Attempt blocked. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

56:48

Brian Graham (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:48

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

55:00

Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:56

Foul by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT).

53:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Graeme Shinnie following a set piece situation.

52:52 Booking

Booking John Rankin (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

52:35

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

52:35

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:24 Booking

Booking Sean Dillon (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

50:36

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

50:36

Foul by Ryan Gauld (Dundee United).

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Brian Graham replaces Stuart Armstrong.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Morgaro Gomis replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

45:00

Second Half begins Inverness CT 0, Dundee United 1.

45:00 +3:19 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Dundee United 1.

45:00 +2:41

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +2:41

Dangerous play by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

45:00 +1:35 Booking

Booking Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

45:00 +1:29

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

45:00 +1:29

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:36

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +0:36

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

42:55 Booking

Booking Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

42:29 Booking

Booking Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

41:10 Dismissal

Dismissal Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) is shown the red card for fighting.

40:36 Booking

Booking Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

38:43

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

38:43

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:13

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

37:55

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

37:34

Attempt saved. Nick Ross (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

36:17

Hand ball by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

31:50

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

31:26

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Marley Watkins.

30:10 Booking

Booking Gary Warren (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

29:49

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

29:32

Attempt blocked. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

28:47

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

28:02

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

27:12

Attempt saved. Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) header from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

26:01

Attempt blocked. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

25:11

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

24:31

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

22:21

Hand ball by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

22:06

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:06

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

21:31

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

20:46

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

20:25

Attempt saved. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

19:40

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

19:40

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

17:43

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

17:43

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:15

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:15

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

15:53

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

15:53

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:56

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

11:53

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

6:53

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

5:42

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

4:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 0, Dundee United 1. Keith Watson (Dundee United) right footed shot from long range on the right to the top left corner. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

2:45

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

1:57

Attempt saved. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

1:15

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

1:15

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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