Nemsadze ends 39-year wait for Dundee fans
Inverness CT 0 Dundee 1
Monday 21 April 2003
Georgi Nemsadze earned himself the sort of hero status that only Alan Gilzean enjoys at Dundee when he struck the goal yesterday which secured the club's first Scottish Cup final appearance in 39 years.
Just as they did last time, Rangers provide the opposition and while Nemsadze's scruffy 78th-minute winner might not have had the mark of the peerless Gilzean, who netted in the 1964 semi-final, it brought possibly more joy to the club's long-suffering support.
While Jim Duffy's side will return to Hampden on 31 May, Inverness Caledonian Thistle's dream of reaching a final just nine years after their birth proved too great a task as they failed to summon up the cutting edge that humbled Celtic in the last round.
"Inverness closed us down and deserve credit," said Duffy. "Georgi didn't play well today, but the fans will always thank him for that goal." Yet Dundee could have been added to Inverness's collection of victims had Dennis Wyness not hit a post after nine minutes. The striker – whose goal knocked out Celtic – was only denied by a great save from the goalkeeper Julian Speroni, who touched his ninth-minute shot against the woodwork.
Speroni's counterpart, Mark Brown, matched that in the 25th minute when Steve Lovell burst through on to a pass from Zurab Khizanishvili but saw his shot diverted by the keeper. The First Division side hustled Dundee out of their stride perfectly and Barry Robson's inswinging corner needed Speroni's agility to preserve parity in the 55th minute.
However, the mesmeric running of Fabian Caballero began to offer Dundee more options. Twelve minutes from the end Nemsadze struck. Caballero cut in from the left and clipped the ball back for the Georgian captain to stab the ball in off the post from 10 yards with his right boot and unleash four decades of pent-up joy from the Dundee fans, who now know they will also be in the Uefa Cup next season, regardless of what happens against Rangers.
Goal: Nemsadze (78) 0-1.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle (4-4-2): Brown; Tokely, McCaffrey (Christie, 83), Mann, Golabek; Hart, Duncan (Bagan, 83), McBain, Robson; Wyness, Ritchie. Substitutes not used: Fraser (gk), Stewart, Keogh.
Dundee (4-3-3): Speroni; Mackay, Wilkie, Khizanishvili, Hernandez; Rae, Nemsadze, Brady; Milne (Novo, 62), Lovell (Mair, 88), Caballero. Substitutes not used: Langfield (gk), Beith, Robb.
Referee: D McDonald.
Bookings: Inverness: Tokely, Robson. Dundee: Wilkie.
Man of the match: Caballero.
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