Two goals either side of half time gave Aberdeen a 2-0 win over ten men Inverness. The opening goal came on the stroke of half time when Ryan Jack hit a sweet right-foot shot from 20 yards that dipped into the net to give the youngster his debut strike for the club. Nick Blackman added to the score sheet four minutes after the break as he collected a pass from Maguire, took one touch and showed great composure to pass the ball into the net from 10 yards. Aberdeen then took total control for the next twenty minutes and were unlucky not to increase their lead. However play became sloppy in the closing stages, but the Dons can go into the weekend semi final with confidence.
Inverness kicked off against an Aberdeen side resplendent in their all-white change strip. Aberdeen created the first chance in the second minute as Milsom combined with Blackman and forced a save from Esson. Seconds later Diamond slipped and the home side raced forward to win the first corner of the match. The set play was well defended, but Inverness won a second corner two minutes later and Innes forced a save from Langfield as he was gifted a free header. A minute later Langfield was in action again as he saved a fierce shot from Hayes.
Inverness were then awarded a debatable third corner as they continued to dominate the opening stages. In the 9th minute Blackman broke well, but was let down by his final ball. A minute later Aberdeen conceded another corner as McArdle made a telling challenge. The Dons were looking nervy at the back as they attempted to cope with the whirlwind start from the home side, but they went close in the 13th minute and almost went ahead against the run of play. A long clearance from Langfield was flicked on by Vernon and a fierce shot from Blackman went inches wide.
In the 15th minute Ryan Jack collected a great pass from McArdle and won the Dons first corner. As Milsom played the ball into the area Esson came to collect, but missed allowing Diamond to hit the woodwork. The game then erupted in the 18th minute when the assistant flagged for an off the ball incident that left Maguire on the deck. When the dust settled Grant Munro was shown a straight red card. Four minutes later a great cross just evaded Blackman as Aberdeen attempted to take advantage of the extra man.
In the 24th minute Jack appeared to be body checked, but no free kick was awarded and a minute later a Considine cross was easily gathered by Esson. Tokely made an important challenge five minutes later as Vernon and Maguire combined well. Jack then made a run at Duff and looked to be up-ended, but the official was not interested. In the 33rd minute Maguire made an ambitious attempt that went well over with plenty of better choices available. Two minutes later the Dons won their second corner, but it was easily cleared by the home defence.
An untidy challenge from Blackman in the 36th minute earned the Dons striker a yellow card and Rory McArdle followed him into the book two minutes later for a poor challenge on Shinnie. Aberdeen were enjoying more of the play since the dismissal, but the home side were still a threat and Langfield was forced into a save from Rooney in the 42nd minute. The deadlock was broken in the 44th minute with a wonder strike from Ryan Jack. The youngster hit a sweet right-foot shot from 20 yards that dipped into the net to give the youngster his debut strike for the club.
Both sides made a change at the interval as McNamee replaced the yellow carded McArdle and Proctor replaced Sanchez for the home side. Aberdeen went close to adding a second in the 47th minute when firstly Jack was caught out by a great dummy from Vernon then Blackman went close seconds later. A minute later Rooney should have levelled after some poor defending. Fortunately he skied his effort and the home side paid for that miss a minute later when Blackman opened his Aberdeen account. He collected the ball, took one touch and showed great composure as he passed the ball into the net from 10 yards.
Aberdeen continued to press and won the first corner of the second half. The ball was only half cleared and Esson was eventually forced to punch as Aberdeen looked for a third. Another corner was won when a Maguire cross was intercepted with Blackman set to pounce. A Maguire shot was then deflected for a second corner and from that delivery the same player forced a save from Esson with a decent header. Blackman was denied by Esson on the hour mark when he went one-on-one and the keeper did well to turn the ball wide.
A second corner quickly followed, but Tokely cleared as Aberdeen continued to press forward. Inverness then broke out and won their own corner in the 62nd minute, but good defending from Vujadinovic prevented any damage. At the other end Esson needed two attempts before collecting a Maguire shot. In the 65th minute Vernon was given a rest when he was replaced by Magennis. A couple of minutes of sloppy play from the Dons resulted in Inverness winning another corner, but Langfield was eventually able to claim before throwing a quick ball to Maguire.
The young striker tested Esson again, but the keeper gathered. Aberdeen then went close to adding a third in the 74th minute when Maguire broke and released McNamee, but there was no one to finish the move. A minute later Langfield confidently claimed an Inverness corner as Aberdeen started to surrender their earlier dominance. This was highlighted in the 78th minute when Rooney was given acres of space and it was left to Langfield to prevent the home side getting a foothold in the match.
At the other end Esson had to come out of his area to clear and then Langfield tried a similar course of action at the other end and was caught in no man's land. Luckily for him Diamond was back on the line to clear. Young replaced Maguire in the 85th minute as ten men Inverness continued to take the game to Aberdeen. With three minutes remaining Aberdeen won a free kick in a dangerous position, but Hartley fired his effort straight at Esson. A minute later the home side won a free kick in a similar position, but they were unable to make anything of it and the Dons were over the finish line.