Caley Thistle were unable to take a Premiership scalp, as Dundee produced a fine second half display to triumph 1-0 at a blustery Caledonian Stadium.
Neither side was able to make a breakthrough in a first half hampered by the windy conditions, however the Dark Blues made the breakthrough just 90 seconds after the interval through Scott Allan’s fine finish.
The result looked in little doubt thereafter, with the Dens Park side progressing to host Motherwell in the last 16 on February 10.
The two sides had shared an entertaining 2-2 draw at Dens Park 10 days previously, with Inverness making three changes from the side that went down 3-1 at Falkirk on Saturday. John Robertson was able to call upon midfielders Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs following suspension, while Aaron Doran also returned. Jake Mulraney was demoted to the bench following his red card on league duty against the Bairns, while Collin Seedorf and Charlie Trafford also dropped to the bench.
Dundee arrived having failed to record a victory in 11 previous attempts in Inverness, with blustery conditions making it difficult for both sides. Caley Jags attacker George Oakley was keen to get shots away in the early stages, flashing two shots wide in the opening five minutes, however it was Mark Ridgers who was the busier goalkeeper in the first-half, with A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Sofien Moussa both forcing the Inverness custodian to make fine beaten saves.
Inverness began to show some promising flashes of play, with Polworth playing a nice threaded ball in for Oakley who was all set to pull the trigger, before Jack Hendry got in to make a saving tackle.
The Highlanders continued to threaten, with Joe Chalmers’ free-kick deflected into the path of Polworth who hooked an effort wide, but the home side were unable to test Elliott Parish, with the last action of the first half seeing Doran booked by referee Stephen Finnie for diving after going down at the feet of Hendry.
The Dark Blues made the ideal start to the second half, taking the lead on 47 minutes through a crisp move on the counter attack. Allan strode forward before exchanging passes with Leitch-Smith, with the on-loan Celtic midfielder curling a delightful low strike into Ridgers’ bottom left corner.
The goal provided Neil McCann’s with a huge lift and they were close to doubling their lead 10 minutes later as a stramash ensued from Allan’s corner, with Hendry denied by Ridgers and Mark O’Hara striking the bar before the ball was scrambled to safety.
Dundee were thwarted by Ridgers, with the goalkeeper keeping his side in the tie by tipping the lively Allan’s free-kick over and pushing Leitch-Smith’s shot on to the post, while he also did well to smother Allan’s low strike from a similar position to where he scored.
Inverness were growing frustrated in their attempts to find a leveller though, with Chalmers and substitute John Baird both flashing efforts well off target.
Dundee’s victory looked to be secure, although Moussa spurned a fine opportunity to make sure of it when he steered another Allan free-kick wide from close-range.
Oakley saw a near-post flick cleared by Kevin Holt following Vigurs’ corner, after substitute Daniel MacKay had seen a strike saved by Parish, but the Tayside men held on.