Inverness CT 1-1 Dundee United

Dundee United fought back to draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Premiership.

Ryan Christie headed home Marley Watkins' cross to give the Highlanders an early lead.

Dean Brill made some fine saves to preserve the Inverness lead, denying Nadir Ciftci and Brian Graham.

But United did level when Farid El Alagui bundled home midway through the second half.

The chance of clinching a European place through the league now appears remote for the Tangerines with a six-point gap opened up between them and third-place Motherwell.

However, Jackie McNamara's side can secure a Europa League qualifying berth if they win the Scottish Cup final against St Johnstone.

Christie headed Inverness ahead early in the match

After an energetic start from both sides Caley Thistle opened the scoring with a goal from nowhere.

Watkins found space on the right wing and sent a long looping ball into the box. Ryan Christie, on only his second start for the club, evaded the United defence at the far post and headed it perfectly passed the outstretched Radoslaw Cierniak.

Shortly afterwards Billy McKay had a chance to make it two when he was sent clean through the middle with a long ball but the visiting defence got back to cover.

But Dundee United began to find their stride with two golden opportunities in the space of a minute.

First, Ciftci was through on Brill, who rushed out to make a block.

And that was followed by a surging run from Ryan Dow but again Brill made a crucial block to preserve his side's lead.

McNamara's men started the second half as they had ended the first, putting sustained pressure on the Caley Thistle goal.

But it took time before they found a way through the dogged Inverness defence, who were missing their regular central defenders Gary Warren and Josh Meekings.

Substitute Brian Graham had two decent chances but could not find the desired finish.

When Dundee United did find the break through it was a messy one. There was another scramble in the box from Paul Paton's delivery and the ball eventually fell to sub El Alagui, who smashed it into the the net.

The closing stages were something of an anti-climax with neither side creating many chances and a draw was probably a fair result.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3630517595
2Aberdeen3619891465
3Motherwell3620412264
4Dundee Utd361610101958
5Inverness CT3615912-154
6St Johnstone3615714852
7St Mirren3610818-1838
8Hibernian3681117-1835
9Partick Thistle3671415-2035
10Ross County369720-2034
11Kilmarnock359620-1833
12Hearts359719-2319
View full Scottish Premiership table

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