Dundee United held firm in the second half with a 1-1 draw with Hibernian and Sinch took a huge step towards sealing their place in the top six of the Premiership.
The Tanadis team – backed by 2,000 traveling supporters – took an early lead through Ross Graham and at half-time before Hibbs’ debutant Harry Clarke’s equalizer.
The result means fourth-placed United need to advance to the final round three points away from seventh-placed Ross County and a higher goal difference before splitting.
Sixth-placed Hibbs, meanwhile, will have to avoid at least a defeat to Hearts next Saturday to stay in the top six.
How Dundee United raised their top six hopes …
Clark, Paul Hanlon, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Chris Mueller were replaced by Ryan Portias, Josh Campbell, Lewis Stevenson and Dray Wright.
Graham, Kevin MacDonald and Nicki Clarke being replaced by Calam Butcher, Miller Thomson and Scott McMann made three changes to the United squad that led to a 2-1 win at St. Mirren.
The spectators took the lead in the 10th minute when center-back Graham – who scored his Scotland U-21 mid-week debut – shook his head from close range after Ryan Edwards headed Tony Watt’s cross from the right back.
Chances were low in the first half, although United threatened to double their lead in the 37th minute when Dylan Levitt headed in the by-line and cut the ball for Ilmari Niskanen in the back post, but the Finnish midfielder dropped to him. – Wide range of efforts.
Hibbs’ first attempt came in the 40th minute when Clarke – playing his first match since signing from Ross County in January – saw a terrific strike from the edge of the box by Benjamin Sigrist.
There was no denying the debut. In stoppage time in the first half, Clarke made a great touch to the box to bring down Chris Caden’s cross and leveled the hosts by drilling a low angled shot from 12 yards out to Cigrist.
The goal gave Hibbs a lift and after the break they started to cause United more problems. Substitutes Evan Henderson, Elias Melkarsen and Muller all had a triple chance in the 67th minute when they came close to an attack. A minute later, Mueller and Caden both see the shots from inside the box charging consecutively.
Hibbs called for a penalty in the 87th minute when Mারller came down with a challenge from United substitute Matthew Cudzor, but the Easter Road attacker was booked for diving. Melkarsen then had a great chance to win it at stoppage time, putting his team up against it to stay in the top six.
What managers say …
Dundee United boss Tam Courts: “I think that’s probably a good point.
“If we had played in the second half the way we did in the first half, we would have had a better chance of three points but unfortunately we didn’t get any rhythm in the second half.
“Hibbs will probably be disappointed because they had the best chance of playing in the second half. From our point of view, a draw is a positive one. “
Hibernian boss Shawn Maloney: “We have to think if we can win, we guarantee the best six; After that (if we don’t) something can happen.
“We will wait for next week. What comforts me is the way we played, considering going down 1-0 after 10 minutes.
“We could have gone the other way and panicked, but we actually played very well. We gave them zero chances until the last five minutes when it became a bit chaotic.
“When we perform like the second half, I think any team can get into trouble.
“But that being said, we still have to be more creative and dangerous in that final third.”
There was a sense of inflation around Easter Road after Hibbs failed to win which could take the pressure off before their trip across Edinburgh next weekend.
“I was really disappointed with the results, but on the other hand the performance was really good,” Maloney added.
“At this time of the season, the results will show how the players and the fans are feeling. However, I am satisfied with the performance and the difference between a draw and a win is very small. “
One of those final moments came to an end when Hibbs striker Chris Mueller was challenged by United substitute Matthew Cudzor in the box and was booked for diving.
“I think there was communication,” Maloney said. “It simply came to our notice then. Look, these things happen.
“I do not want to talk about them all the time. But, yes, that could be a little different. These things seem to be happening at the moment, but we will move on quickly. “
Dundee United host Dundee at the Scottish Premiership on Saturday 9 April; Kick-off at 3 p.m. A trip to Hearts the same day next up for the Hibernian; The kick-off is also at 3 pm.