Aaron Doran headed a stoppage time winner to send Caley Thistle to the Scottish Cup semi finals in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.
Inverness had deservedly taken the lead through Joe Chalmers in the first half, however United equalised midway through the second period through a soft penalty which was converted by Nicky Clark.
With the tie looking destined for a replay, Doran nodded home in injury time to send the 2015 competition winners back to Hampden Park.
Caley Jags made three changes from the side which went down 1-0 at Tannadice on league duty just five days earlier. Kevin McHattie dropped out with a shoulder injury, along with Shaun Rooney and Nathan Austin, with skipper Carl Tremarco, Jamie McCart and Aaron Doran drafted in.
Inverness dominated the early exchanges, with Doran seeing a low drive tipped wide by Benjamin Siegrist on four minutes, while Jordan White nodded over after being picked out by a Liam Polworth free kick.
Caley Jags took a deserved lead in stunning fashion on 19 minutes, with Liam Polworth picking out Chalmers with a fine cross-field pass, before the midfielder curled a superb effort past Siegrist from just inside the box.
Chalmers was inches away from doubling Inverness’ lead just four minutes later, with his effort from a Doran delivery coming back off the crossbar.
United seldom troubled the Inverness rearguard in the first half, with Peter Pawlett seeing an effort well blocked by Tremarco.
Inverness had chances to double their advantage after the break, with Polworth seeing a free kick beaten away by Siegrist, before Charlie Trafford flashed an effort wide from distance.
United called Mark Ridgers into action for the first time on 66 minutes, with substitute Paul McMullan forcing a beaten save from the goalkeeper with a long range effort.
McMullan was at the centre of the controversy surrounding the home side’s leveller just two minutes later however, when he went down inside the box under minimal contact from White, with the Caley Jags attacker adamant he went to ground too easily.
Steven McLean awarded the spot kick, with Clark confidently tucking past Ridgers.
Inverness spurned a fine opportunity to regain their advantage when Polworth slipped White through on goal, however Siegrist was out sharply to block his attempt.
The Highlanders thought they had grabbed the winner when substitute Austin nodded Sean Welsh’s free kick past Siegrist.
John Robertson’s men were not to be denied however, as Doran nodded home from close range after Brad Mckay’s throw-in had been nodded on by White.