DUNDEE United saw their routine victory against Dutch amateurs FC Winterswijk overshadowed by the sight of gifted defender John Souttar being carried from the field in agony.
Scorers: Dundee United: Connolly (6, 48), Graham (36), Armstrong (69), (Ciftci 85), (Redeker OG 89)
The powerful defender was withdrawn in the second half of a 6-0 win against the fifth-tier outfit, with his ankle bearing the brunt of the strong block tackle which halted him.
Despite manager Jackie McNamara remaining quietly hopeful on his player’s condition, United will now face a nerve-shredding wait to find out the extent of the damage done to one of their brightest young talents.
“The physio Jeff [Clarke] is hopeful that it isn’t too bad, but it gave him a fright,” said McNamara.
“We will need to wait and see how he is in the morning. He has taken a wee kick to the bottom of the ankle going through the tackle and turned it a bit.
“We’ll need to see if it is ankle ligaments, but hopefully it isn’t too bad.”
The match itself was far less dramatic, with a double from the rampant Aidan Connolly inspiring the visitors to a comfortable victory.
Indeed, it took just six minutes for the visitors to take the lead in prohibitively warm conditions in the small town of Winterswijk.
Some neat work from Chris Erskine allowed Aidan Connolly to dart into the penalty box and, after dancing past a couple of flimsy challenges, he rounded the goalkeeper and rolled into an empty net.
United extended their lead on 36 minutes. Again, Connolly was pivotal, slicing through the Winterswijk defence with a mazy run before sliding the perfect pass through to Graham. The rangy striker made no mistake with his curling finish from the edge of the box.
Connolly latched onto a defence- splitting pass from Scott Fraser and fired a low shot into the bottom corner as goals continued to arrive in the second period. Stuart Armstrong got in on the act with a close-range finish before Citftci made it 5-0 with a curling effort from 18 yards. Robertson set up the final goal of the match, his low cross knocked into his own net by Winterswijk defender Redeker.
Dundee United: McCallum; Spittal, Souttar (DIllon 55), Petrie (Morris 65), Smith (Robertson 65); Telfer (Rankin 65), Fraser (Paton 65); Erskine (Ciftci 65), Coote (Armstrong 60), Connolly (Mackay-Steven 65); Graham (Dow 65).