It’s 10 years since Aberdeen’s Dnipro heroics – relive the drama of the famous night

Mackie scores for Aberdeen.

Hail to the new generation of Aberdeen’s “heavenly dancers” in Europe. That’s how the jubilant fans on the flight home described them as they sang their suitably adjusted version of “The Northern Lights” from the back of the plane.

Well, the men in red certainly fought in attack and defence to make history as the first Aberdeen side to go through in Europe after drawing the first leg at home.

And I will never forget the wonderful sight of them jumping for joy as they celebrated dumping Dnipro out of the UEFA Cup.

Zander Diamond celebrates after the final whistle.

It was a night the 400 Dons diehards who made the journey to the Ukraine and thousands back home who watched the action live on TV will never forget.

I don’t know what it was like back in Aberdeen, but it was party time on the club’s flight home as the fans at the back sang their hearts out. It was well after 3am before some of them will have got to bed and you can be sure there will be a few sore heads today.

But the pain from the hangovers will seem worth it after seeing the Dons do their bit to fly the Scottish flag in Europe with pride. Unlike the Old Firm they did it with an all-Scottish starting 11.

If the fans are searching for anyone in particular to thank, then look no further than keeper Jamie Langfield and manager Jimmy Calderwood.

A happy Jimmy Calderwood.

Langfield made three outstanding saves on the night when his transformation from exiled bad boy to a fans’ hero was complete.

And it was Calderwood’s astute tactical awareness that gave the Dons the chance to record their greatest European result since Alex Ferguson ruled Pittodrie.

Dnipro piled on the pressure in the early stages, with talisman Serhiy Nazarenko at the heart of most moves. He began the one that led to Langfield making a stunning save from L’opa’s low shot in the third minute.

Jamie Langfield put in a stunning performance for Aberdeen.

Every Dons player worked his socks off to contain the mobile Ukrainians and they were rewarded with a dream goal in the 27th minute.

Foster took a throw-in on the left to Smith then accepted the midfielder’s clever return pass in
behind the Dnipro defence.

Mackie celebrates.

Foster skipped into the area and crossed the ball for Darren MACKIE to score with a brilliant diving header that brought back memories of another famous goal in 1983.

Aberdeen got lucky in the 63rd minute when Kravchenko sent a corner in from the right and Vorobyey’s powerful header clipped the bar.

Langfield then made
another stunning stop from Kravenchenko’s blistering 25-yard drive.

Dnipro drew level in the 75th minute. The ball was played in from the right and when Considine tried to clear it from inside his six-yard box it cannoned off VOROBYEY into the net.

Michael Hart in a duel with Sergiy Nazarenko.

Nazarenko then rattled the Dons bar with a 30-yard piledriver.


Langfield’s next save was amazing. He got his finger tips to a long distance shot from Kravenchenko to touch the ball on to the bar and behind for a corner.

Langfield also made a great save from Denisov in the fourth minute of injury time to deny Dnipro and spark amazing scenes as the Dons fans celebrated.