Dundee suffered last-gasp heartache as they exited the Betfred Cup at the hands of Aberdeen at Dens.
It was a result that was harsh to say the least on James McPake’s team who looked to be heading to the quarter-finals courtesy of a first-half Danny Johnson penalty.
However, there was a dramatic late twist as the Dons equalised at the death through Andy Considine with Sam Cosgrove netting what proved to be the winner in the first period of extra time.
It was Dundee’s first defeat of the season but the Championship side can take enormous credit for going toe to toe with the Premiership big guns even although they ultimately came up short.
There was a big blow for Dundee fans before kick-off with the news that star striker Kane Hemmings had been ruled out after picking up a knock.
The front man was absent from the squad with Paul McGowan who also started in last week’s win over Ayr in the Championship dropping to the bench.
Dark Blues boss James McPake drafted in midfielders Josh Todd and Shaun Byrne as replacements for the duo.
Dons manager Derek McInnes made just one change from the team that crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night to Croatian outfit Rijeka with Craig Bryson coming in for Lewis Ferguson.
Aberdeen were quickly into their stride and had a chance in just the third minute when Niall McGinn burst into the home box with Dundee defender Jordan McGhee having to race across to make a vital block as the Dons man pulled the trigger.
After that early scare, McPake’s men edged their way into the game with both sides carefully probing for openings.
Cosgrove became the first player to be booked by referee Willie Collum in the 16th minute for a foul on Cammy Kerr.
Dundee then came agonisingly close to making the breakthrough when Johnson with his back to goal at the edge of the Dons box, held off Considine to make a smart turn before hitting a low shot that struck keeper Joe Lewis’s left-hand post before Aberdeen cleared the danger.
In the 35th minute, Dundee had a big shout for a penalty when the Dons Funso Ojo appeared to handle the ball in his own box but Mr Collum was not convinced with Aberdeen going down the pitch to create a chance for Ryan Hedges but he wanted too much time and the defence cleared.
McPake’s frustrations boiled over and the manager was given a severe talking to by the referee on the touchline.
His players then carved out another great opportunity when Todd sent a superb cross flashing across the face of the Aberdeen goal but there were no takers in a dark blue jersey.
It looked like the home side would be heading down the tunnel with nothing to show for their efforts but that all changed in the 43rd minute.
Dundee’s Jordon Forster went down in the Aberdeen box under a clumsy challenge from Considine with Mr Collum pointing to the spot before booking the Dons defender.
Johnson stepped up and calmly sent Lewis the wrong way to smash the ball into the back of the net and give Dundee a deserved lead at the break.
At the start of the second 45, the Dark Blues picked up where they had left off with an early chance for Byrne, who shot wide.
The Dons then had their best opening of the game in the 53rd minute when Joe Gallagher manufactured space for himself in the Dundee box but he shot straight at keeper Jack Hamilton who easily gathered.
Ten minutes later, Johnson, who had run himself into the ground for the Dark Blues, was replaced by Andy Nelson with the goalscorer receiving a standing ovation from the home support.
Aberdeen were not done yet though with Forster having to come to the rescue as he cleared a Gallagher header off his own line in the 84th minute.
However, seven minutes later, Dundee hearts were broken. Hamilton made an initial great save from a header but the ball was played back in and eventually fell to the feet of Considine who had the easiest of tasks with a tap-in from inches out.
Aberdeen took full advantage of that lifeline in the first period of extra time as they scored their second in the 103rd minute. Greg Leigh swung a cross in from the left with Cosgrove sending a header back across goal past Hamilton and into the net.
Shortly after the restart, Dundee were appealing for another penalty for a push on sub Josh Meekings but the referee saw no offence.
Another sub McGowan had a chance of his own but his effort was saved by Lewis.
And there was to be no way back for Dundee as Mr Collum finally brought a halt to proceedings.
Attendance – 5,740.
Dundee – Hamilton, Kerr, McGhee, Ness (McGowan, 74), Forster, Todd (Meekings, 86), Byrne, McDaid, Johnson (Nelson, 63), Robertson (Moore, 98), Marshall.
Subs not used – Ferrie, Anderson, Cunningham.
Aberdeen – Lewis, Logan, Leigh, Considine, McKenna, Ojo, Bryson (Campbell, 62), Gallagher (Vyner, 120), Hedges (Wilson, 65), McGinn (McLennan, 56), Cosgrove.
Subs not used – Cerny, Wright, Main.
Referee – Willie Collum.