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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Dundee 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Cowan (28), Novo (81)        
Attendance: 7,887
Venue: Dens Park, Dundee
Dons shooting blanks at Dens
Aberdeen put on a good display in Dundee today, but were sunk by a super strike and a late counter attack. Despite some good play Aberdeen failed to take any of the many chances they carved out and Aussie striker David Zdrilic missed a spot kick as well as several chances in open play. The home side went ahead in the 28th minute with a magnificent 30-yard strike from Cowan. Aberdeen dominated the second half and had Dundee on the rack for long spells. However they were caught out by a quickly taken free kick late on that ended the match.

The home side won the toss and by the time Aberdeen got the match underway the sun had made an appearance and conditions were perfect for football. The Dons won the first corner kick in the 3rd minute following a strong run from Muirhead. The corner produced a panicked goal line clearance and a minute later a Muirhead cross took Zdrilic by surprise and the ball cannoned off the Aussie's shin when he was well placed to do better. Mackie broke wide right in the 8th minute, but slipped on the greasy surface with Zdrilic and Tiernan waiting in the centre. On the left hand side Muirhead was proving a handful for the Dundee defence.

The Dundee defence came under pressure again in the 12th minute, but eventually cleared their lines. However the home side were always dangerous on the break and won their first corner of the match in the 14th minute, but it was comfortably dealt with by the Dons. Two minutes later Dundee carved out the best chance to date when Sara turned on the edge of the box and flighted the ball inches wide of the target. Preece was quickly off his line in the 21st minute to deny Novo as the home side settled into the game, but Zdrilic responded a minute later with a long-range effort that drifted wide.

Sara had the miss off the match in the 24th minute when he was left with the simplest of tasks of beating Preece from close range following good work and a fine cross from Novo. Somehow the Dundee forward managed to screw his effort wide of the target from only six yards. The home side took the lead in the 28th minute with a magnificent strike from Thomas Cowan from 30 yards out. There were loud appeals for a spot kick two minutes later when Tiernan looked to be upended inside the penalty box after Muirhead had taken advantage of a Wilkie error. The referee was not interested and denied the Dons the chance to draw level.

The Dons were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute when once again Tiernan was tripped by Wilkie inside the box. This time the referee pointed to the spot, but Zdrilic crashed the ball off the upright to the relief of the home support. Zdrilic had a chance to make amends in the 40th minute, but fired a Muirhead corner wide from 6 yards. A minute later Dundee hit the woodwork when Caballero fired in a low effort and Sara put the loose ball over the bar.

Aberdeen drew first blood in the second half when Zdrilic attempted a speculative effort, which sailed wide. Dundee had a better opportunity two minutes later with a free kick on the edge of the box. Fortunately Aberdeen cleared their lines well. Zdrilic was not having much luck in front of goal and after good build up play in the 53rd minute the Dons man once more drilled his effort wide of the target. The game continued to rage from end to end with plenty of goalmouth action and Preece made a breathtaking stop in the 56th minute to keep the Dons in the match.

Following a corner kick the ball fell to Gavin Rae and he rifled a shot that looked netbound until Preece pulled off a magnificent one handed save. At the other end Zdrilic was denied in the 66th minute by a last gasp tackle and a minute later the Aussie fired an effort well over. Although not having the best of days he never hid and made himself available at every opportunity. Dundee went close again in the 72nd minute when Rae was released on the right, but fortunately for Aberdeen he fired over.

This was the cue for a double substitution for Steve Paterson and Sheerin and Hinds replaced Tosh and Zdrilic. The Dons then laid siege to the Dundee goal but never quite found that final ball that would make the breakthrough. Four minutes later Paterson made the last roll of the dice replacing Mackie with Bird. Aberdeen had Dundee on the rack by this stage and Hinds was denied in the 78th minute by a last gasp Wilkie tackle.

Then the inevitable happened as Dundee hit the Dons with a sucker punch. A quickly taken free kick on the half way line was collected by Novo and he powered in on goal and slotted the ball past Preece. Lucky Dens proved to be anything but lucky and the Dons deserved to take more from the match today. To do this Aberdeen really need to start taking their chances in front of goal. This was highlighted in the final minute as they tried to walk the ball into the net allowing the shaky Dens men clear the danger.

Dundee Teamsheet:  Speroni, Mackay, Wilkie, Caballero, Rae, Sara, Nemsadze, Novo, Mair, Cowan, Brady.

Unused Subs: Smith for Brady (80), Lovell for Sara (82)


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Hart, McQuilken, Anderson, McNaughton, Heikkinen, Tosh (Sheerin 72), Muirhead, Zdrilic (Hinds 72), Mackie (Bird 76), Tiernan.

Unused Subs:


Referee: Craig Thomson

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