Motherwell given a Greek lesson in the Champions League
Report of match Motherwell 0 Panathinaikos 2 played 31st July 2012
Despite a good performance Motherwell have a mountain to climb having conceded a goal in each half. Panathinaikos soaked up our attacks and will be confident of progressing to the next round of the Champions league.
The 'Well players left the field to a standing ovation from the packed stands in acknowledgement that they had given their all against the Greek side. They will rue the manner of the defeat, the goals lost followed a needless free kick and a breakaway after a Motherwell attack.
East Stand shows the colours
McCall fielded the obvious starting eleven (his choice was very limited) and after an early scare when the visitors had a chance from a close range free kick we settled well and took the game to the South Stand end. The first corner of the evening saw us try a training ground move and it almost paid off when the ball was fed to Humphrey but his effort from 20 yards flew just above the top right hand corner of the goal.
A careless mix up in central defence ended with a free kick that Christodoulopoulos whipped in to the six yard box. Randolph, mindful of a Bounsong's presence, was undone and we were one down after 13 minutes.
Murphy provided most of our threat for the rest of the half and his success on the left flank gave us a few thrills. His crosses gave Humphrey and Higdon half chances but not reward. A neat through ball freed Lasley inside the box but his left footed effort flew wide.
No goal conceded here
The action in the first period ended with Randolph at full stretch to tip over a rocket from Zeca and we reached the dressing room without further loss.
The half time team talk resulted in a terrific spell after the break. We lifted the pace and had a go. There was a mixture of passing with Law and Lasley prominent and occasional use of Higdon as a target. Hately tested the keeper with a free kick and law's effort caused a spill on the line. Higdon had a couple of headers on target but none troubled the keeper.
With 15 minutes remaining we fell to the sucker punch. Ojamaa lost possession at the edge of the Greek penalty area and the ball was quickly at the feet of substitute Mavrias and with his first contribution to the action he rolled the ball through Randolph's legs. It was a cruel end and the final score was hardly a fair reflection of the balance of play.
We have to accept that the Panathinaikos team is littered with fine players and though we pressed them hard at times we failed to score. We'll travel to Athens next week hoping for a miracle but with any luck we'll be lifted by an opening win in Dingwall on Saturday.
|Competition: UEFA Champions League Date: Tuesday, 31st July 2012 Kick off: 19:45 Venue: Fir Park|
||0 - 2||Panathinaikos
|Motherwell cards shown|
|Panathinaikos cards shown|