Motherwell's European adventure is over following a brave Europa League play-off defeat to Levante.

Michael Higdon saw an early header ruled offside, while Jonathan Page, Stevie Hammell and Keith Lasley all had first-half efforts on goal.

Levante improved after the interval, with Darren Randolph saving well from Juanlu and Nabil El Zhar.

Theofanis Gekas swept in a half-volley on 72 minutes to give the Spaniards a 3-0 aggregate victory.

The Steelmen arrived in Valencia facing a difficult task to progress, having shipped two goals in Lanarkshire last week.

Stuart McCall's side responded with a mature display against their La Liga opponents, matching the hosts for much of the opening 45 minutes.

And Chris Humphrey missed a golden chance to make it a night to remember when he shot wide from close range in injury time.

Motherwell lost 1-0 to Levante

Gekas struck for Levante on 72 minutes

Motherwell, fielding four teenagers, had the ball in the net inside three minutes when Higdon escaped his marker to head home Steven Hetherington's free-kick but the the offside flag was raised instantly, to cut short the celebrations of the boisterous 400-strong travelling support.

A second Hetherington free-kick two minutes later produced another free header, but Page steered the ball wide from 16 yards.

Keith Lasley got two shots on target, while Levante's Jose Barkero fired a powerful long-range strike wide and Juanlu saw a curling effort just clear the far post.

Motherwell survived a scare on 32 minutes when Hammell overhit a pass at Page along the back line and the centre-back, after initially chesting the ball down, then underhit his attempted header back to Randolph. Juanlu intercepted but shot wide from 18 yards with only the keeper to beat.

Hammell got the error out of his system 60 seconds later with a forward run and 30-yard shot that zipped just wide.

Levante threatened after the break when Juanfran's cross found Juanlu, but Randolph got down brilliantly to stop his header, which deflected off Page.

The Irishman made another great stop on the hour, blocking from El Zahr after the Moroccan had run on to Barkero's pass.

Motherwell were finding possession harder to retain but Higdon almost threaded Henrik Ojamaa through on a break, however the Estonian could not quite escape his marker.

El Zahr missed another great chance, shooting over after turning inside Hammell in the penalty box.

A goal for Motherwell would have worried the hosts but Levante made their second-half possession count. They worked the ball to Juanlu on the left wing and Gekas got in front of Adam Cummins to steer the cross inside Randolph's near post from six yards.

A fifth teenager, left-back Zaine Francis-Angol, replaced Hammell but the visitors could not find a leveller, with Humphrey left with his head in his hands after missing the target.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Levante

  • 13 Navas
  • 04 Navarro
  • 12 Juanfran
  • 18 Ballesteros (Rodas Hector - 76' )
  • 19 Pedro Lopez
  • 07 Barkero (Herrero Michel - 61' )
  • 20 Gomez Juanlu
  • 23 Papakouli Diop
  • 08 El Zhar
  • 10 Vicente Iborra (Pallardo - 79' )
  • 17 Gekas

Substitutes

  • 01 Munua
  • 05 Rodas Hector
  • 22 Lell
  • 06 Pallardo
  • 11 Oscar Serrano
  • 21 Herrero Michel
  • 09 Rodriguez Angel

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell (Francis-Angol - 74' )
  • 19 Kerr
  • 20 Page
  • 30 Cummins
  • 14 Lasley
  • 18 Carswell (Humphrey - 68' )
  • 27 Hetherington Booked
  • 08 Ojamaa (McHugh - 67' )
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Murphy

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 26 Francis-Angol
  • 36 Murray
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 17 Daley
  • 33 Asghar
  • 16 McHugh
Ref: Clement Turpin
Att: 13,398

Match Stats

Shots

18 5

On target

5 2

Corners

10 2

Fouls

10 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +1:43

Chris Humphrey takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.

90:00 +1:29 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +0:41

Shot from just outside the box by Miguel Pallardo goes over the bar.

89:49

Unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Miguel Pallardo results in a free kick. Jonathan Page takes the direct free kick.

89:10

Header by Gomez Juanlu from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

87:49

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Herrero Michel from the left by-line.

87:14

Foul by Adam Cummins on Herrero Michel, free kick awarded. Gomez Juanlu takes the free kick.

85:54

Fraser Kerr fouled by Garcia Juanfran, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jonathan Page.

84:28

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Herrero Michel from the left by-line, Rodas Hector challenges Adam Cummins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

83:19

Shot by Herrero Michel from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.

81:53

Miguel Pallardo produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

80:24

Corner taken by Herrero Michel from the right by-line, Theofanis Gekas concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonathan Page. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

78:49

Free kick taken by Garcia Juanfran.

78:49 Substitution

Substitution Miguel Pallardo replaces Vicente Iborra.

78:49

Robert McHugh gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garcia Juanfran.

75:23 Substitution

Substitution Rodas Hector comes on in place of Sergio Ballesteros.

74:53

Corner taken right-footed by Herrero Michel from the right by-line, clearance by Michael Higdon.

71:58 Substitution

Substitution Zaine Francis-Angol on for Stevie Hammell.

71:58

Assist on the goal came from Gomez Juanlu.

71:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Theofanis Gekas - Levante 1 - 0 Motherwell Theofanis Gekas grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Levante 1 (3)-(0) 0 Motherwell.

70:34

Papakouli Diop takes a shot. Blocked by Adam Cummins.

68:13

Shot on goal by Nabil El Zhar from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

66:46 Substitution

Substitution Stewart Carswell leaves the field to be replaced by Chris Humphrey.

66:46 Substitution

Substitution (Motherwell) makes a substitution, with Robert McHugh coming on for Henrik Ojamaa.

65:54

Michael Higdon fouled by Vicente Iborra, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Fraser Kerr.

60:36 Substitution

Substitution Jose Barkero leaves the field to be replaced by Herrero Michel.

60:36

Nabil El Zhar takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

57:58

Centre by Gomez Juanlu, Adam Cummins makes a clearance.

57:19

Steven Hetherington takes a short corner.

56:12

Sergio Ballesteros concedes a free kick for a foul on Henrik Ojamaa. Free kick crossed by Steven Hetherington, clearance made by Vicente Iborra.

53:53

Jonathan Page challenges Papakouli Diop unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Keylor Navas.

53:04

Unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Garcia Juanfran results in a free kick. Adam Cummins restarts play with the free kick.

51:01

The ball is crossed by Gomez Juanlu, Theofanis Gekas takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

50:32

Foul by Michael Higdon on Munoz Pedro Lopez, free kick awarded. Sergio Ballesteros takes the free kick.

46:36

Steven Hetherington concedes a free kick for a foul on Vicente Iborra. Sergio Ballesteros restarts play with the free kick.

46:36 Booking

Booking Steven Hetherington receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +0:19 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

42:58

Gomez Juanlu produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

41:59

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jose Barkero.

36:32

The assistant referee signals for offside against Theofanis Gekas. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

33:05

Stevie Hammell has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.

32:12

Gomez Juanlu has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

30:45

Shot from just outside the penalty area by Theofanis Gekas misses to the left of the target.

28:29

Unfair challenge on Nabil El Zhar by Stevie Hammell results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sergio Ballesteros.

23:46

Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Gomez Juanlu goes wide of the right-hand upright.

22:23

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fraser Kerr by Vicente Iborra. Free kick taken by Fraser Kerr. Keith Lasley takes a shot. Save by Keylor Navas.

21:36

Jose Barkero has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.

20:38

Corner taken by Steven Hetherington, clearance by David Navarro. Keith Lasley takes a shot. Save made by Keylor Navas.

17:57

The referee blows for offside. Sergio Ballesteros takes the free kick.

14:52

David Navarro produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

14:12

Outswinging corner taken by Nabil El Zhar from the right by-line, Jonathan Page makes a clearance.

13:24

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jose Barkero, clearance made by Adam Cummins.

11:56

Short corner taken by Jose Barkero from the right by-line.

10:36

Theofanis Gekas is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Jonathan Page.

9:40

Keith Lasley concedes a free kick for a foul on Papakouli Diop. Papakouli Diop takes the direct free kick.

9:16

Headed effort from inside the area by Theofanis Gekas misses to the left of the target.

8:35

Corner taken by Jose Barkero from the left by-line.

7:39

Corner taken left-footed by Jose Barkero. Nabil El Zhar has an effort at goal. Blocked by Adam Cummins.

4:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Higdon by Sergio Ballesteros. Steven Hetherington takes the direct free kick. Headed effort from inside the box by Jonathan Page misses to the right of the target.

3:54

Theofanis Gekas takes a shot. Blocked by Adam Cummins.

3:19

Michael Higdon is ruled offside. Keylor Navas takes the free kick.

2:17

Sergio Ballesteros gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Henrik Ojamaa. Jamie Murphy takes the direct free kick.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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