AEK Athens 1-1 Dundee United: Match Report
Dundee United claimed a creditable 1-1 draw against AEK Athens but slipped out of Europe after a 2-1 aggregate loss.
Any hopes United, who were trailing 1-0 from the first leg, had that the eerie atmosphere would unsettle AEK were quickly dashed as they picked up where they left off at Tannadice with an impressive passing game.
Debutant Papa Bouba Diop scored the opening goal and it looked as if United's hopes were over, but substitute Jon Daly came off the bench to net a goal which gave them hope of progressing. Despite their endeavour, though, it was not to be.
AEK almost opened the scoring inside four minutes when Leonardo broke through into the penalty area but goalkeeper Dusan Pernis saved with his feet.
United were fortunate to stay on level terms after 10 minutes when Ignacio Scocco picked up a Rafik Djebbour ball inside the penalty area but somehow fired over from just six yards.
The Tangerines broke upfield on 20 minutes and looked like they were set to cause AEK problems when Scott Robertson fed Danny Cadamarteri, but he strayed offside.
That moment proved pivotal as AEK swiftly took the lead through Diop. United defender Sean Dillon conceded a corner kick needlessly and they were punished as Sanel Jahic rose unmarked to flick the ball on for the former Fulham man, who poked a shot in from four yards.
Houston was forced into a change just minutes into the second half when Cadamarteri pulled up injured and was replaced by Goodwillie.
In an attempt to inject new life into his side the United boss brought on Danny Swanson, back after a spell out injured, for David Robertson. Houston then introduced Daly in place of Gomis in a bid to find the goal they needed to get back into the contest.
United gave themselves a lifeline on 78 minutes when Paul Dixon's long ball fell for Daly inside the box and he prodded it past goalkeeper Sebastian Saja at full stretch. Swanson had a chance to send United through on away goals with a drive from the edge of the box but it flew just wide.
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