Motherwell pulled off a battling comeback to progress to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.
Christian Ramirez’s early goal was cancelled out by Kevin van Veen’s exceptional strike, before Connor Shields won it in first-half stoppage time.
Mark O’Hara returned to the fold for the first time since appearing at Pittodrie in November. Van Veen, Connor Shields and Jake Carroll also came into the side, with Nathan McGinley out completely, and Callum Slattery, Jordan Roberts and Kaiyne Woolery dropping to the bench.
Within the first minute, it was almost a dream start for the Steelmen.
A ball over the top found Efford in the right channel. In behind the defence, he slotted away cooly past Woods but was ruled to be in an offside position.
Aberdeen responded in kind. Finding space on the right, McCrorie stood up a ball to the back post where Ramirez, having got away from Ojala, rose to power his header past Kelly with three minutes gone.
Worse almost followed four minutes later. Ojala again found Ramirez tough to deal with and the American got in behind his man on the right side of the box.
Thankfully, his chip over Kelly bounced in front of goal and then past the left-hand post.
Motherwell rallied, with Van Veen seeing a 30-yard free-kick deflected over and then, from the resulting corner, Shields heading just wide from Ojala’s flick.
Alexander’s men kept coming, establishing a physical superiority over their opponents higher up the pitch.
Goss’ free-kick from the right saw Solholm scoop a shot over the bar, although the flag was up, before the equaliser came.
Van Veen was proving a menace all half and got his rewards with 10 minutes left to play.
Twisting and turning against three men on the right side of the box, he got the ball out of his feet and sent an unstoppable shot into the top-left corner of Woods’ net.
‘Well thought they had their second five minutes from half-time. The ball broke kindly on the edge of the box for Goss and, needing to take the shot first time, came agonisingly close but found the left side netting.
They should have been ahead on the stroke of half-time.
Goss free-kick from the left was headed back across goal by Solholm and, sliding in, Donnelly made contact five yards out but somehow poked it past the left post.
But the reward for all the effort to get back into the match would arrive in the final seconds of the half.
Goss’ corner from the right was spilled by Woods and, with Mugabi getting his body in the way first, Shields arrived to power the ball home from near in and send the home crowd wild.
It was exactly what Motherwell deserved for how they fought to get back into the match.
Motherwell started the second half in similar vein and had the perfect chance to make it three early on.
A great driving run inside from Efford saw him tee the ball for Van Veen. The Dutchman had work to and spun away well from Gallagher, but saw his fierce effort parried away by Woods.
The sting went out of the game in the middle part but both sides continued to have chances.
Efford saw an attempt at replicating Van Veen’s goal deflected over and O’Hara’s 30-yard piledriver clipped the bar, while Ramirez sent a half-volley wide from the left side for the visitors.
Van Veen should have put it out of sight with 15 minutes to go.
The Dutchman did all the hard work on the edge of the area, twisting himself into space but his attempt to bend a left-footed shot inside the left post dropped wide.
Aberdeen threw everything at it with four minutes of stoppage time, but Motherwell stood firm to pull off a big win and reach the last eight of the competition.