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Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Sunday, 16 March 2008

Levein hurting over 'cruel' final

Craig Levein
Levein said he was proud of how his players at Hampden

Craig Levein said the CIS Cup final penalty shoot-out defeat by Rangers was "a cruel way to lose the game".

And the Dundee United manager thought his side were denied a penalty when Carlos Cuellar appeared to wrestle Christian Kalvenes to the ground.

"I don't want to criticise any officials but I'm sure if Kenny Clark had seen the jersey tug he would have given a penalty," said Levein.

"It certainly wasn't our day, we took two sucker punches when we were ahead."

The Tangerines took the lead twice in the game through Noel Hunt and Mark De Vries.

However, Rangers substitute Kris Boyd drew his side level on both occasions, before scoring the winning spot kick in a penalty shoot-out.

"Twice it looked like we were going to clinch the game and we were hit by real body blows but we came back," said the United manager.

"We hadn't weathered a storm, it was more like a slight downpour and then out of the blue we made a couple of mistakes and were cruelly punished.

"All credit to the players, I thought they were fantastic. I feel for everybody associated with the club."

Levein said chairman Eddie Thompson would be "gutted" over the result but not the performance of the Tannadice outfit.

"Everyone who watched the game recognised that we played possibly our best game of the season," Levein added.

see also
Dundee Utd 2-2 Rangers
16 Mar 08 |  Scottish Cups
Smith delighted with cup victory
16 Mar 08 |  Rangers
CIS Cup photo gallery
16 Mar 08 |  Scotland

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