Dundee United 1 Celtic 1: Celtic denied as Sandaza saves spirited United

A late strike by substitute Francisco Sandaza gave Dundee United a deserved share of the spoils against Celtic in yesterday's Premier League meeting at Tannadice.

Paul Hartley's deflected goal six minutes after the break – and a controversial decision by referee Charlie Richmond to deny United a penalty when Roy O'Donovan clashed with Gary Caldwell – looked likely to give the champions all three points.

But in the 79th minute the Spaniard, on as a second-half substitute for Warren Feeney, nipped in at the near post to flick a Craig Conway cross past Hoops goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan felt it was a "cracking game" and thought the debate over the penalty claim should have been negated by what he thought was a foul by O'Donovan on Stephen McManus.

"Seconds before that the number 10 jumped into Mick [McManus], so it was a foul before that," Strachan said. "I thought we should have had that decision so we wouldn't be talking about the penalty."

United were well worth their point and might have grabbed all three in the closing stages as they went all out for the winner.

However, they will point to the game's most controversial incident in which Richmond refused to award a spot-kick when O'Donovan appeared to be tripped by Celtic defender Caldwell inside the penalty area.

Richmond ignored the claims, then almost immediately injured himself by running into Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura – and minutes later was substituted by fourth official Iain Brines with a suspected broken ankle.

The referee may have been spared by United's equaliser, which came in a second half in stark contrast to a dull first one.

United were first to threaten in the 10th minute when midfielder David Robertson climbed to head a Michael Kovacevic cross goalwards, Boruc stretching to tip the ball over for a corner – which the visitors survived.

Eight minutes later, O'Donovan was booked for barging Boruc as the Poland international shepherded the ball out of play. Tannadice left-back Danny Grainger then drove a volley from 16 yards just over the bar as the Taysiders had a spell on top.

In the 51st minute Hartley drove the visitors into the lead – albeit with the help of a deflection.Nakamura had time on the ball inside the United box to lay the ball off to the former Hearts midfielder, whose side-footed shot came off Garry Kenneth before nestling in the corner of the net.

United built up a head of steam and finally got the equaliser when Sandaza nipped in at the near post to direct a cross from Conway, himself on just seconds earlier for Willo Flood, past the helpless Boruc and into the net.

Goals: Hartley (51) 0-1; Sandaza (79) 1-1.

Dundee United (4-4-2): Zaluska; Kovacevic, Kenneth, Wilkie, Grainger;Flood (Conway 78), Scott Robertson, Gomis, David Robertson (Buaben 64); Feeney (Sandaza 64), O'Donovan. Substitutes not used: McGovern (gk), Dillon, Daly, McCord.

Celtic (4-4-2): Boruc; Hinkel, McManus, Caldwell, Wilson; Nakamura (Robson 68), Hartley, Scott Brown, McGeady; McDonald (Samaras 88), Vennegoor of Hesselink. Substitutes not used: Mark Brown (gk), Crosas, Donati, O'Dea, Caddis.

Referee: C Richmond (Scotland).

Booked: Dundee O'Donovan. Celtic McGeady.

Man of the match: Sandaza.

Attendance: 11,648.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London