Super Steaua put Well to the sword

Motherwell were dealt a shattering blow to their hopes of reaching the Europa League main draw as they crashed 3-0 at Steaua Bucharest.

Last Updated: 30/07/09 at 21:23 Post Comment

Craigan: Scored unfortunate own goal

Craigan: Scored unfortunate own goal

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

The Steelmen were handed a place in the qualifying rounds thanks to their second place in the Scottish Premier League's Fair Play League, after Scotland's impressive disciplinary record had secured the country an extra place in Europe.

And the team who finished seventh in last season's SPL had hoped to return from Romania with a respectable result, to give themselves every chance in the second leg at Airdrie's Shyberry Excelsior Stadium next Thursday.

But an own goal from Stephen Craigan was followed by further goals from Banel Nicolita and Bogdan Stancu, and Jim Gannon's visitors could not respond.

On-loan Everton goalkeeper John Ruddy and former Northampton midfielder Giles Coke both made their debuts but Motherwell were slow to start and their evening went from bad to worse.

Bogdan Stancu forced Ruddy to make an early save, and Romeo Surdu also went close from long range for the home side.

A goal was coming and it arrived after 31 minutes when Craigan found the back of his own net following Nicolita's corner.

It should have been 2-0 two minutes later when Steaua were awarded a penalty after Ross Forbes fouled Romeo Surdu, however Ruddy saved Dorin Goian's power penalty.

Gannon made a change before half-time, as Steven Hammell took over from Ross Forbes, but the Steaua pressure continued.

Just as it looked as though Motherwell would survive at 1-0 down until the break, they conceded in the 45th minute.

Nicolita provided the low finish past Ruddy after Rafal Grzelak's pass.

Jim O'Brien came off the bench early in the second half, in place of Chris Humphrey, and the substitute created a chance almost instantly when his cross was headed wide by striker John Sutton.

Motherwell were looking to build on that effort, which represented progress, but 1986 European Cup winners Steaua had other ideas and went 3-0 clear in the 61st minute when Grzelak's cross from the left was headed in by Stancu.

Stancu should have had another goal but fluffed his shot, before Sutton again threatened at the opposite end.

This time his header demanded a save from Cristian Tatarusanu but from the rebound Coke blazed his shot over.

Ruddy, experiencing a busy debut, saved from Krum Bibishkov prior to Mihai Onicas hitting the post with a header.

The 22-year-old former Cambridge goalkeeper made another late save when he tipped Razvan Ochirosii's shot over the bar, on a miserable night for the Scots.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 21 August 2014
20:15
Rijeka 1-0 Sh Tiraspol  
19:45
Sarajevo 2-3 M'gladbach  
19:30
Lokeren 1-0 Hull City  
Lyon 1-2 FC Astra Ploiesti  
RNK Split 0-0 Torino  
Sociedad 1-0 Krasnodar  
19:15
Asteras Tripoli 2-0 Mac Tel Avi  
Trnava 1-3 FC Zurich  
Grasshoppers 1-2 Club Brugge  
Partizan 3-2 Neftchi  

Footer 365

Transfer news: Mario Balotelli heading for Liverpool medical

Mario Balotelli is on his way to England for a medical ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool, Sky sources understand.

Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

Harry Redknapp offered a bizarre defence of under-fire Malky Mackay, saying: "He hasn't murdered anyone, he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile.

Premier League: QPR boss Harry Redknapp looking forward to taking on Spurs

Harry Redknapp is trying to keep his focus on QPR business ahead of a reunion with Tottenham on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Mail Box

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property