Aberdeen kept their late challenge on course in a thrilling encounter at Pittodrie this afternoon. The Dons led at the interval thanks to a goal on the half hour mark. Derek Young was released by de Visscher and he hit a powerful shot that Zaluska could only parry into the path of Foster. The midfielder still had a lot to do and did well to control the shot as he steered it into the net from 12 yards. The Dons went further ahead in 48th minute when sponsors man of the match Karim Touzani scored his first goal for the club. United pulled one back within 60 seconds and this set up a dramatic finish with play raging from end to end. Aberdeen finished in control and Walker (twice) and Miller were denied by the keeper while Young and Touzani both fired narrowly wide. Next stop Fir Park as the Dons look to finish the season in style.
Aberdeen kicked off but it was United who threatened in the opening minute when Dillon swung in a free kick and the make shift back four looked uncomfortable as Wilkie steered a poor effort into Langfield's arms. Three minutes later Aberdeen threatened on the left but Foster ran out of space. Seconds later Langfield was sold short by Considine and the keeper had to side step Hunt but was caught late by the Irishman and won a free kick. Aberdeen had started with a back four but after seven or eight minutes they reverted to a back three.
Maguire's persistence won the first corner of the match in the 9th minute and from the resultant corner Severin shielded the ball out and the assistant gave a goal kick much to the surprise of everyone in the stadium. Some neat passing play by the Dons failed to produce a finish in the 11th minute and a minute later there was a big shout for hand ball as Flood looked to have controlled the ball with his hand before clearing but again the Dons were getting nothing from the officials.
A Duff shot was blocked then a Maguire cross failed to find any takers as Aberdeen looked to have recovered from a nervous start. A Duff cross on the quarter hour mark produced a second corner as Wilkie scrambled the ball clear. The set play came to nothing and two minutes later de Visscher allowed Gomis to win the ball too easily but fortunately the United man found row z with his effort. A tame shot from Swanson was easily gathered by Langfield then Severin took a nasty knock as Gomis went in late on the Dons captain. Once again the officials turned a blind eye to the United indiscretion.
United won their first corner in the 23rd minute but Langfield made a comfortable catch. A minute later Young almost closed down Zaluska as he dealt with a poor pass back from Wilkie. Swanson made a direct run towards goal but he pushed Nicholson and that ended the danger for the Dons. Swanson was then lucky to escape the first yellow for a stupid foul quickly followed by a petulant kick at the ball but the referee settled for a lecture. Aberdeen then took a dramatic lead on the half hour mark through Richard Foster.
Derek Young was released by de Visscher and he hit a powerful shot that Zaluska could only parry into the path of Foster. The midfielder still had a lot to do and did well to control the shot as he steered it into the net from 12 yards. United looked to hit back quickly and Langfield was forced into a fine save in the 34th minute when a Dillon cross found Wilkie ghosting in at the back post but the keeper parried the header clear. Touzani then made an important challenge on De Vries before Kerr fired a fierce shot inches wide. Aberdeen coped with the onslaught and steadied the ship.
There was another shout for a spot kick in the 38th minute as Foster looked to be flattened by Swanson as he went for a Severin cross but again the referee was not interested. Three minutes from the break Miller made a neat turn but he fired well wide as it sliced off his foot. A minute later United were awarded a soft free kick in a dangerous position but Severin did well to clear Grainger's cross before it was fired back in and Langfield looked to be blatantly fouled. The referee failed to blow for an infringement and Aberdeen were lucky that Hunt failed to get a proper connection. Referee Winter then awarded a series of soft free kicks around the Dons penalty area but Aberdeen held firm with Langfield making a save at full stretch deep into injury time.
The game restarted where it left off in the first half as United were awarded a very soft free kick in the opening minute. At the other end Maguire charged down a Zaluska clearance but the ball went wide. Aberdeen then grabbed a second goal in the 48th minute when a de Visscher corner was bundled over the line by Touzani for his first goal for the club. Unfortunately United pulled one back 60 seconds later when Swanson was allowed to waltz through the defence and hit a low shot beyond Langfield. The same player went close to levelling two minutes later when he curved a shot just wide.
At the other end Miller and de Visscher combined well but Duff couldn't latch on to the ball. United were taking control now and Duff had to look lively to clear for a corner. Aberdeen went close in the 57th minute when a de Visscher volley was blocked and seconds later a Maguire cross into the box was headed into the Keeper's arms by Miller with Duff looking to be in a better position behind him. Another controversial decision from Winter earned Foster a yellow card when he cleanly won a corner on the hour mark but was penalised for his effort. A telling cross from Duff in the 62nd minute was headed out for a corner. The referee then ended the threat as Touzani attempted an overhead kick and was penalised.
Miller was then booked for a foul on Grainger and in the 69th minute Foster played a cross into the box and Wilkie was forced to head back to the keeper. Grainger was then booked in the 71st minute for a quite shocking challenge on Severin. Maguire had a poor effort from distance a minute later and Walker replaced him in the 73rd minute. Touzani almost added a third in the 74th minute as he drilled a shot inches wide with the keeper well beaten. A United free kick was well defended in the 78th minute as the game continued to rage from end to end.
United were awarded another soft free kick on the edge of the box despite the fact that it looked like Nicholson came off the worse in the 50-50 challenge. He was immediately replaced by Dave Bus and the Dons successfully defended the set play. United were going all out for the equaliser as Aberdeen's make shift eleven battled all the way. Lovell replaced de Visscher in the 87th minute then Josh Walker showed great skill to win the ball in midfield but was then taken out of the game. Once again the referee saw no offence, but he did award a free kick on the edge of the box when Miller was blocked a minute later.
Josh Walker hit the free kick with venom and Zaluska was forced to turn the ball round the post. Walker took the corner and Zaluska produced an even better save from a Lee Miller header that forced yet another corner. From this corner a goal bound Lovell header was deflected wide as the Dons finished in style. In the 89th minute Derek Young fired inches wide then Josh Walker had a shot blocked by Zaluska a minute later. There were two minutes of injury time and Aberdeen finished on the ascendancy until United were awarded a free kick three minutes into the two minutes of injury time. The Dons held firm and thoroughly deserved the three points that keeps their late challenge on track.