Dundee eased their way to a 3-0 win at Cowdenbeath, courtesy of a first half hat trick by Sofien Moussa. With the points safe Dundee cruised through the second half to maintain their 100% record after three Betfred Cup matches, setting up the group decider against Dundee United at Dens Park on Sunday.
The Dark Blues made four changes following Saturday’s win over Buckie Thistle. Darren O’Dea, Glen Kamara, Mark O’Hara and Scott Allan returned to the starting line-up, with Jack Hendry, Randy Wolters and Lewis Spence moving onto the bench. Faissal El Bakhtaoui was injured. Cowdenbeath made two changes to the team that lost at Tannadice on Sunday; Joe McGovern replaced David McGurn in goal and Josh Morris came in for Matthew McInally in
Dundee started positively taking the game to Cowdenbeath and keeping the home side pinned back for long spells. Scott Allan had the first effort on target, trying to sneak a free kick from the left inside the near post with everyone waiting for a cross, but keeper Joe McGovern dived across his goal to save. The keeper was being kept busy and again did well againwhen he beat away a powerful drive from 35 yards by Cammy Kerr.
As the pressure mounted Roarie Deacon caused chaos in the home goalmouth with a run to the byline and dangerous cross. Cowdenbeath scrambled the ball clear that time, but it was no surprise when the dominant Dark Blues went ahead after 16 minutes. Scott Allan flighted a lovely cross from the left to the far post and Sofien MOUSSA thrashed a volley into the net from six yards.
The Tunisian striker made it two six minutes later. Paul McGowan sent a cross deep beyond the far post. The home defence relaxed thinking Roarie Deacon had no chance of keeping it in, but the Dee winger pulled the ball down superbly and chipped the ball over for MOUSSA to score with a spectacular overhead kick.
Darren O’Dea almost added a quick third but McGovern parried his diving header from Allan’s free kick. Moussa was now hunting his hat trick and almost grabbed his third when Cowdenbeath’s defence misjudged a long ball from O’Dea. Moussa nipped in behind them, but McGovern was out quickly enough to block.
Moussa twice went close with headers, one from a Deacon cross and the other from a corner. After 37 minutes he completed his hat trick. Roarie Deacon made a great run down the right and cut the ball back for Paul McGowan who scooped a cross into the six yard box for MOUSSA to nod the ball past McGoven.
Dundee started the second half as they had played throughout the first, attacking confidently, and McGovern saved well from McGowan’s 18 yard effort after another good run by Deacon.
To their credit Cowdenbeath dug deep and became much more competitive, obviously determined that a defeat would not turn into a thrashing. With the points safe the Dark Blues made three changes, perhaps with Sunday’s derby in mind. Sofien Moussa and Scott Allan left the pitch to a well deserved ovation, with Marcus Haber and Randy Wolters coming on. Glen Kamara was then replaced by James Vincent.
The last half hour drifted past quietly, with little to get excited about. Roarie Deacon came closest to a further goal, running onto Paul McGowan’s pass and lobbing the keeper, only to see the ball drift over the bar.
Dundee saw the game out calmly, content to pass the ball around, probe for openings and ensure that Cowdenbeath did nothing to threaten Scott Bain’s goal.
The Dark Blues were solid throughout the team tonight. The defence was always in charge of proceedings, with Kerr Waddell looking very much at home alongside Darren O’Dea. The midfielders imposed themselves on the game, setting up a stream of dangerous attacks, particularly in the first half. Dundee’s crossing might have been sub-standard on Saturday but there was no sign of that failing tonight, with Deacon and Allan repeatedly finding space, beating men and hitting lethal crosses, which Sofien Moussa was only too happy to profit from!
This was the third successive win in the Betfred Cup, and it was both the most pleasing and the most comfortable. The Dark Blues killed off Cowdenbeath ruthlessly in the first half, allowing the fans to relax with their half time pies in complete confidence that this would be the Dee’s night.
Pyper, Rumsby (c), Syme, Rutherford
Muirhead (McInally 81), Buchanan, Swann
Unused subs: Penman (gk), Ovenstone, Thomson, Leslie, Turnbull, Henderson.
Booked: Miller (foul on McGowan), Rutherford (foul on O’Hara).
Dundee FC 4-2-3-1
Kerr, Waddell, O’Dea (c), Holt
O’Hara, Kamara (Vincent 69)
Deacon, McGowan, Allan (Wolters 62)
Moussa (Haber 62)
Unused subs: Parish (gk), Hateley, Hendry, Spence.
Goals: Moussa (16, 22, 37).
Referee: Euan Anderson. Assistants: Ralph Gordon, Stuart Hodge.
Report: James Christie.