Europa League action as it happened

Motherwell lose to Russians Kuban Krasnodar in Europa League qualifying after St Johnstone win away to Minsk.

1 August 2013 Last updated at 22:08

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As it happened

  1. 2203: 

    Okay, I'll sign off now. Congratulations to St Johnstone and commiserations to Motherwell on a night of mixed fortunes for Scottish sides in Europe.

    Don't forget the new league season kicks off at Firhill tomorrow night.

  2. 2200: 
    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We were up against a strong, strong side but we were still in it at 1-0 with 15 minutes to go.

    "With 75 minutes gone, you're thinking of going 4-4-2 and firing a few balls into the box.

    "But then we lose a goal on the break - it was exactly the same as last season and that's frustrating and disappointing.

    "It would have been nice if Sutton's header had gone in at the end. I thought the fans deserved that.

    "The tie is realistically over but we can look at the positives from some bright individual performances."

  3. 2156: 

    Motherwell will next be in action at Easter Road on Sunday, while the jubilant St Johnstone players face Hearts in Perth later on the same day.

    The new SPFL season kicks off tomorrow night, with Partick Thistle hosting Dundee United.

  4. 2153: 

    The door remains firmly closed on the Motherwell dressing room as BBC Scotland's Chick Young prowls for a post-match interview. We hope to bring you a few words from manager Stuart McCall.

  5. 2150: 

    Look away now Hibs fans. Malmo, who were 7-0 winners at Easter Road, were swept aside 4-0 on their visit to Swansea.


    SPLstats on Twitter: "Motherwell have now lost 4 consecutive home games in Europe without scoring a goal, albeit all against seeded opposition."

  7. 2145: 

    On a brighter note for Motherwell, John Sutton put himself about up front and was unlucky not to score at the death, while Iain Vigurs showed a few nice touches and was involved in most of the home team's best work.

  8. 2142: 

    Former Fir Park skipper Stephen Craigan on BBC Radio Scotland: "The problem with Motherwell in Europe is that the teams playing are not the ones that qualified. They lost seven or eight players this summer and looked like a team that hasn't played together."

  9. 2138: 

    The Motherwell players face a long trip for next week's second leg and will need to pick themselves up after this loss. Kuban were bigger, stronger and much sharper on the ball.

  10. 2134: 
    FULL-TIME- Motherwell 0-2 Kuban Krasnodar

    The home fans applaud sportingly as the teams troop off. The Motherwell players look shattered as they did a lot of chasing against the classy Russians. Ivelin Popov knocked in both goals after good set-up play from the lightening quick Ibra.

  11. 2133: 

    We've had one of the three minutes of injury time as John Sutton knocks a header against the frame of the goal.

  12. 2128: 

    Nice skill from Iain Vigurs to get a shot away but visiting keeper Belenov is right behind it.

  13. 2126: 

    Djibril Cisse races on to a perfectly weighted pass from Charles Kabore but the Kuban substitute cannot squeeze his shot past keeper Lee Hollis.

  14. 2125: 

    Kuban waste a bit more time with another substitution and the atmosphere at Fir Park is very flat.

  15. 2123: 

    Kuban make a double switch. The good news for home fans is that the hugely impressive Ibra is going off but former Liverpool and Sunderland striker Djibril Cisse is on in his place.

  16. 2122: 

    Motherwell make a change, with midfielder Paul Lawson replaced by striker Henri Anier. James McFadden is going to get hooked as well, with Fraser Kerr ready to come on.

  17. 2121: 

    James McFadden is booked for a petulant slam of the ball into the turf.

  18. 2119: 
    Motherwell 0-2 Kuban Krasnodar (Popov)

    Clinical from Kuban. A Motherwell corner is quickly cleared to Ibra, who once again finds Ivelin Popov for a simple finish. The tie is all but over, I'm afraid...

  19. 2118: 

    Iain Vigurs lobs the ball over an opponent and storms forward before setting up James McFadden with a cute back-heel but the Scotland midfielder's shot is again deflected wide.

  20. 2116: 
    Can James McFadden inspire a fight back from the Steelmen? Can James McFadden inspire a fight back from the Steelmen?
  21. 2114: 
    BBC Scotland's Andy Campbell at Fir Park

    "There are certainly more chances coming Motherwell's way. A volley from Iain Vigurs was just not hit sweetly enough to seriously test Alexander Belemov but the hosts will take heart."

  22. 2111: 

    James McFadden dips a shoulder and gets a shot away from the edge of the penalty area. It's deflected wide for a corner and Shaun Hutchinson heads over from the set-piece.

  23. 2108: 

    Something for the Motherwell fans to cheer as John Sutton steers a header on target but it's a comfortable save for Alexander Belemov.

  24. 2107: 

    Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson is booked for a lunging challenge just a few minutes after a caution for Kuban full-back Kozlov.

  25. 2103: 

    Lee Hollis makes a terrific save to deny Popov a second goal. Kuban's Bulgarian midfielder fairly skelped in a loose ball after a free-kick had been blocked.

  26. 2102: 

    Malmo, conquerors of Hibs, are now 3-0 down at Swansea.


    Killiegibbie on Twitter: "#bbcsportscot Well done to the Saints.... Hopefully Motherwell can sneak a wee goal against K̶r̶a̶s̶e̶n̶, K̶a̶r̶s̶n̶...... The Russians!!"

  28. 2058: 

    A short pass-back by Shaun Hutchinson almost puts goalkeeper Lee Hollis in bother as Ibra closes in but the ball is scrambled away.

  29. 2055: 

    "Kuban have got complete control of the game," says BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson. "I think we'll see them keeping the ball for fun."

    Will match commentator John Barnes dare crack a Kuban cigars joke at any stage? Stay tuned...

  30. 2053: 
    GOAL- Motherwell 0-1 Kuban Krasnodar (Popov)

    The impressive Ibra races into the penalty box and slips a perfect pass to Ivelin Popov to slot home from five yards. It's an away goal for the Russians and a long way back for Motherwell.

  31. 2048: 

    The second half is up and running at Fir Park. It's Motherwell 0-0 Kuban Krasnodar.


    Oldfirmfacts on Twitter: "Gareth Bale is unconvinced that Spurs can compete in Europe, and is expected to clinch a move to St Johnstone this week."

    The Saints will be in a good mood as they fly back from Belarus after their 1-0 win at FC Minsk.

  33. 2043: 
    Motherwell will hope to pose more of an attacking threat in the second half at Fir Park Motherwell will hope to pose more of an attacking threat in the second half at Fir Park
  34. 2039: 

    Malmo, who thrashed Hibs 9-0 on aggregate in the previous round, are currently trailing 1-0 at Swansea.


    Tom Watson on Twitter: "#bbcsportscot Re 2011 Funnily enough, the collective noun for toads is a "knot." #TrueFact"

    Good knowledge. I'll be sure to casually drop that into my next toad-related conversation...

  36. 2032: 
    BBC Scotland's Andy Campbell at Fir Park

    "The Motherwell fans have seen little of their side in attack so far but, given Kuban's prowess in attack and Ibra Balde's effort off the post, the home support will be happy to be still on terms at the halfway stage of the first leg."

  37. 2031: 
    HALF-TIME- Motherwell 0-0 Kuban Krasnodar
  38. 2030: 

    "Motherwell are trying to do things a bit too quickly and are consistently giving the ball away," says BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson.

  39. 2027: 
    James McFadden has been pretty quiet so far, with Kuban dominating possession James McFadden has been pretty quiet so far, with Kuban dominating possession
  40. 2022: 

    The Motherwell fans shout in vain as John Sutton goes to ground while attacking a James McFadden cross in a crowded penalty area. Moments later, the ball ricochets up in the air off Zaine Francis-Angol and Iain Vigurs is penalised for his challenge on goalkeeper Alexander Belemov, who looked rather fretful as he jumped.

  41. 2017: 
    BBC Scotland's Andy Campbell at Fir Park

    "Kuban's turn of pace and movement off the ball is formidable. They can turn defence into attack inside three passes and Ibra is always a willing runner up front."

  42. 2015: 

    The ball retention of the Russians is impressive and the lively Ibra is a real danger. Motherwell are doing a lot of chasing on their own patch.

  43. 2011: 

    Given the Russians' nickname, BBC Radio Scotland match commentator John 'digger' Barnes ties himself in knots to reach a Toads-in-the-hole punchline. Pundits Craig Paterson and Stephen Craigan provide the tumbleweed response...

  44. 2008: 

    He's getting closer. Former Atletico Madrid man Ibra sizes up a shot and curls a wonderful effort onto the junction of post and bar from 25 yards.

  45. 2006: 

    Route one seems to be the way forward for Motherwell as James McFadden latches on to Stephen McManus's long ball but Xandao nips in just in time to clear the danger for Kuban.

  46. 2003: 

    New Motherwell defender Stephen McManus has more than 30 European games under his belt with Celtic and that experience could be vital in what looks like being a tight contest.

  47. 1959: 

    The pace of Ibra is a real threat as the visiting striker does well to dig out a shot that curls just over the crossbar of Lee Hollis.

  48. 1957: 

    Former Steelmen skipper Stephen Craigan on BBC Radio Scotland: "Motherwell need to keep the ball a bit better. There is a nervous energy about them at the moment and they are losing possession too easily."

  49. 1953: 

    Uh-oh. It looks like we might have a fussy ref on our hands. Alain Bieri appears to enjoy the sound of his own whistle.

  50. 1951: 

    John Sutton sends a tame shot into the arms of the visiting goalkeeper Alexander Belemov. The visitors break at speed and Ibra knocks an effort just wide after some uncertainty from the Motherwell defence.

  51. 1949: 

    Kuban Krasnodar have a lot of big lads, so 'Well will need to be careful at set-pieces. The visitors are knocking it around confidently.

  52. 1947: 

    Iain Vigurs latches on to a John Sutton knock-down but drags his shot wide from 22 yards.

  53. 1946: 

    Swiss referee Alain Bieri peeps his whistle at Fir Park and we're off!

  54. 1943: 

    The teams are out on the pitch and a crowd of around 7,000 is making a real din.

  55. 1940: 
    BBC Scotland's Andy Campbell at Fir Park

    "It's been somewhat of a meteoric rise for Kuban Krasnador, who were only promoted to the Russian Premier League three years ago. Their Kuban Stadium is somewhat larger than tonight's venue of Fir Park but the Motherwell fans will do their best to make this an intimidating atmosphere for the visitors."

  56. 1932: 
    St Johnstone were 1-0 winners away to FC Minsk - can Motherwell make it a Scottish double? St Johnstone were 1-0 winners away to FC Minsk - can Motherwell make it a Scottish double?
  57. 1928: 

    Motherwell: Hollis, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, Hammell, Francis-Angol, Lasley, Vigurs, McFadden, Lawson, Sutton. Subs: Nielsen, Cummins, McHugh, Carswell, Kerr, Moore, Anier.

    Kuban Krasnodar: Belenov, Kozlov, Xandao, Dealbert, Bugaev, Popov, Tsoraev, Sosnin, Bucur, Kabore, Ibra. Subs: Karyakin, Armas, Urena, Cisse, Bezlikhotnov, Zhavnerchik, Fidler.

    Referee: Alain Bieri (Switzerland)

  58. 1927: 

    Motherwell are European regulars these days but Kuban Krasnodar are making their debut on this stage.

    The visitors are nicknamed the Toads because of their first choice yellow and green kit and finished fifth in the Russian Premier League last season, having returned to the top flight in 2011.

  59. 1923: 

    Motherwell have lost some influential players over the summer. Darren Randolph was a top keeper, while Michael Higdon was the SPL's top scorer. The trickery of Nicky Law and searing pace of Chris Humphrey and Henrik Ojamaa has gone as well.

    However, playmaker James McFadden has stayed on and Stephen McManus brings big game experience to the back four. Former Ross County pair Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson are tidy midfielders and should be good additions.

  60. 1919: 
    BBC Scotland's Andy Campbell at Fir Park

    "Walking up to Fir Park, the Motherwell fans were out in force and there's a palpable sense of excitement. Inside, the pitch looks well watered and there are a few Kuban Krasnador followers in the visiting stand making themselves at home."

  61. 1915: 

    Motherwell crashed out of qualifying for both the Champions League and the Europa League at the first hurdle to Panathinaikos and Levante respectively last year. It's another tough looking draw this time, with the visitors enjoying a budget Stuart McCall could only ever dream of.

  62. 1909: 
    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "That's a fantastic result for St Johnstone and that will give us heart.

    "Kuban are a very compact side and they break quickly, they haven't lost in 15 games.

    "We need to use our heads and not leave gaps at the back but we want to get forward and be a threat as well."

  63. 1903: 
    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "It wasn't pretty but they were not a pretty side to play against.

    "I don't think we reached the highs in terms of performance that we did in Rosenborg but it was pretty warm and some of our boys looked heavy-legged.

    "The second half was much better, we were patient and won a lot of second balls.

    "But it's just the halfway stage and we are taking nothing for granted."

  64. 1900: 

    Former Liverpool and QPR striker Djibril Cisse is on the Kuban Krasnodar bench at Fir Park tonight.


    BBC Scotland's Jane Lewis on Twitter: "What a terrific result for @St_Johnstone_FC in Europa League tonight! Now over to @MotherwellFC - good luck chaps! #bitnervous"


    simonfothers on Twitter: "#bbcsportscot sitting in my office in New York, struggled not to shout "Get in ya Beauty!!" when Saints scored! #bitingtongue #COYS"


    Alan Adam on Twitter: "fantastic result for @StJohnstone tonight, good to see a non-OF club looking like progressing in Europe #bbcsportscot"

  68. 1849: 
    FULL-TIME- Minsk 0-1 St Johnstone

    St Johnstone are in a great position to reach the Europa League play-off round after another away win. Steven MacLean zipped in the only goal on 69 minutes and McDiarmid Park should be rocking for the return leg next week.

  69. 1848: 

    Murray Davidson is booked for a lunge at an opponent. It gives Minsk the opportunity to shell a long ball into the box in the dying minutes.

  70. 1845: 

    It should be added that radio match commentator Jim Spence also had to negotiate the broadcasting rights for this game. At least that's what he said when he requested a suitcase full of cash from BBC Scotland HQ.

  71. 1842: 

    Minsk win a couple of corners but St Johnstone repel the danger. Frazer Wright and Steven Anderson have been solid at the heart of the visitors' defence.

  72. 1840: 

    Time is nearly up and there has been no sign of a Minsk comeback. St Johnstone are on course for another 1-0 away win in Europe. Just like Liverpool in the 1970s...

  73. 1837: 

    Motherwell are up against Kuban Krasnodar of Russia later on. Here's the home team for the 19:45 kick off.

    Motherwell: Hollis, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, McFadden, Lawson, Sutton, Vigurs, Lasley, Francis-Angol.

  74. 1835: 
    Murray Davidson has added an attacking threat to the St Johnstone midfield in the second half. Murray Davidson has added an attacking threat to the St Johnstone midfield in the second half.
  75. 1831: 

    A quick newsflash on other football matters:

    Rangers say they'll seek clarification over what they believe are anomalies in punishments handed out to them and other clubs in administration. Hearts today received a transfer embargo until the end of January 2014, while Rangers were fined £50,000 last summer.

    A club statement says Rangers also received a 12-month registration embargo but that was initially handed out for bringing the game into disrepute.

  76. 1827: 

    I should commend BBC Radio Scotland match commentator Jim Spence on an excellent Brazilian-style shriek of GOOOOAALLLL! It was so long and loud he had no time to say who had played Stevie MacLean through to score. Who cares, right?

  77. 1824: 
    GOAL- Minsk 0-1 St Johnstone (MacLean)

    The Saints have a precious away goal as Steven MacLean races on to a long ball and thrashes a first-time shot low into the net.

  78. 1823: 

    An exhausted Nigel Hasselbaink is replaced by Stevie May. The young striker scored the vital home goal against Rosenborg in the last round. Can he do it again?

  79. 1821: 

    David Wotherspoon again gets past his man and stands up a cross for Steven MacLean but the striker is a yard under the delivery.

  80. 1819: 

    The small crowd have suddenly started to make some noise as Minsk win their second corner of the evening after a good spell of possession. Saints deal with the set-piece without any fuss.

  81. 1815: 

    David Wotherspoon drifts past two opponents and cuts a pass back for Nigel Hasselbaink, who is too quick for his own good and races beyond the ball. It breaks for Tam Scobbie but the full-back dithers in possession and a good chance is gone.

  82. 1813: 

    Dave McKay is the next man to go into the referee's book for obstruction. A harsh decision according to BBC Radio Scotland co-commentator Roddy Grant, who is not at all biased.

  83. 1811: 

    David Wotherspoon is cautioned for a cynical hack at a Minsk player after the hosts break swiftly from defending a corner.

  84. 1810: 
    St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright barks out his orders in Grodno St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright barks out his orders in Grodno
  85. 1807: 

    Murray Davidson is straight into the thick of the action, winning two headers in quick succession - the first earning a corner and the second flashing wide.

  86. 1805: 

    Murray Davidson is on for Gary McDonald, who may have picked up a knock. Saints fans must have thought they'd seen the last of Davidson but the midfielder signed on again last week after failing to find a club in England, which certainly surprised me.

  87. 1800: 

    The second half is up and running and Minsk are on the attack straight away, with a shot blocked and a frantic last-ditch tackle saving the day for Saints.

  88. 1755: 

    Apologies for the lack of half-time updates. There were a few other duties to attend to. Hibs have signed former Kilmarnock defender Michael Nelson, if you're interested.

  89. 1745: 
    HALF-TIME- Minsk 0-0 St Johnstone

    So far so good for Saints. Neither goalkeeper has been tested in a low-key 45 minutes. I'm sure visiting manager Tommy Wright would settle for more of the same after the interval.

  90. 1742: 
    BBC Radio Scotland commentator Jim Spence

    "Paddy Cregg has been an unstoppable force of nature in the middle of the park. He's into everything!"

  91. 1739: 

    Some heavy on-mic sighing from BBC Radio Scotland co-commentator Roddy Grant as Hasselbaink runs into a cul-de-sac and loses possession.

  92. 1737: 

    Nigel Hasselbaink has a pop at goal but the shot is easily gathered by Bushma.

  93. 1733: 

    Paddy Cregg is seeing a lot of the ball in the middle of the park as Saints grow in confidence. The little Irishman keeps it simple, with short, sharp passes.


    Gordon Scanlan on Twitter: "How can a BBC commentator incorrectly call it the Europa CUP, not very correct... #bbcsportscot"

    Come on Gordon, given Spencie's excitable nature I think he's done well to get half of it right on air...

  95. 1728: 

    Saints are enjoying a good spell, with Minsk defending frantically on the edge of their penalty box. Steve MacLean's shot is blocked when a pass to the advancing David Wotherspoon might have been the better option.

  96. 1726: 

    Minsk keeper Bushma has to look lively to intercept a good early delivery from Tam Scobbie, with David Wotherspoon rising to challenge.

  97. 1723: 

    It's a warm day in Grodno but the pitch is now almost completely in the shade, which will be something of a relief for the Scots. BBC Radio Scotland co-commentator Roddy Grant likens the stadium to Meadowbank in Edinburgh. Not exactly the San Siro then...

  98. 1720: 

    A promising move from St Johnstone ends with home defender Sachivko heading clear from a David Wotherspoon cross.


    St Johnstone FC on Twitter: "Incorrect info earlier re two fans being here. Fan in question is from Scotland but lives in Grodno. Not a Saints fan but here to cheer us."

  100. 1717: 

    Frazer Wright steps in to make a covering tackle after Begunov eases past two Saints players. The home team are pretty nippy on the ball.

  101. 1714: 

    "We've got to get Nigel Hasselbaink on the ball," says BBC Radio Scotland co-commentator Roddy Grant. "He's a confidence player and he can hurt teams and draw fouls in dangerous areas."

  102. 1712: 

    St Johnstone get forward and Gary McDonald heads over at the back post from a tight angle.

  103. 1710: 

    Bukatkin shoots wide as the Saints defence is cut open from a midfield burst from deep. An early warning for the Saints...

  104. 1709: 

    The pitch is "very sticky" says co-commentator Roddy Grant as Saints winger Nigel Hasselbaink struggles to control the ball.

  105. 1705: 

    St Johnstone keeper Alan Mannus gather the ball at his near post after a jinking run down the right from Gorbushin. The player was allowed too much room to cross, according to our radio commentary duo in Belarus.


    Stuart Ower on Twitter: "Hoping we score tonight just to hear Roddy trying not to swear #bbcsportscot"

    Ross Lawson on Twitter: "#bbcsportscot The lack of Saints fans in the ground won't matter, the boys know they have thousands here cheering them on! COYS!"

  107. 1701: 

    A positive start from the visitors, with a long ball from Tam Scobbie finding Steve MacLean in behind the Minsk defence but the striker's touch let's him down.

  108. 1700: 

    We're off. Can the Saints keep marching on in Europe?

  109. 1658: 

    The players are out on the park, with a quiet ripple of applause coming from a crowd of around 1,000 fans.

  110. 1656: 

    What about FC Minsk?

    They are new kids on the block, having been formed in 2006 to take the license of Smena Minsk.

    They are the Belarusian Cup holders after beating Dinamo Minsk 4-1 on penalties (1-1 after extra-time), which is how the qualified for this tournament.

    This is the second time they've been in Europe and they beat Valletta of Malta 3-1 on aggregate in the previous round.

    They are currently eighth out of 12 in the Beralusian league.

  111. 1653: 

    A lack of atmosphere in the stadium does not concern Saints boss Tommy Wright.

    Speaking yesterday, he said: "Players can focus a bit easier when there is a big crowd. But these lads have all played in pre-season friendlies and games in the middle of winter when crowds are low. I don't see it being a problem."

  112. 1650: 

    Over on BBC Radio Scotland, co-commentator Roddy Grant tells listeners that two visiting fans have made it to Grodno. One of them is a Scot who lives locally and has had a few pre-match shandies by the sounds of it. Hats off to the other chap if he's made it over from Perth!


    George Grieve on Twitter: "COYS! Gutted iPad doesn't do radio #bbcsportscot"

    other tablet devices are available...


    Use #bbcsportscot to air your thoughts.

  114. 1643: 

    Tonight's first leg takes places in the city of Grodno, 140 miles west of the former Soviet state's capital, while Minsk's Dinamo Stadium is redeveloped.

    Few fans of either side are expected to be in attendance for the match. Visa issues and travel costs have made it next to impossible for Saints fans to get out there.

    One man who has made it past Belarussian security is Jim Spence, BBC Scotland's answer to 007, and he will be providing commentary for radio and online listeners, along with Saints legend Roddy Grant.

  115. 1640: 
    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright

    "There has been such a positive reaction to the Rosenborg result and I want the players to show me that they want more of it.

    "Everyone loves a pat on the back and to see their names in the papers. If that fires them up to believe they can win again against Minsk, then that's great. It's important that we keep the run going."

  116. 1637: 

    Minsk: Bushma, Sverchinski, Sosnovskiy, Sachivko, Rnic, Begunov, Bukatkin, Kozeka, Gorbushin, Kibuk, Vasilyuk. Subs: Dechko, Ostroukh, Shumilov, Belevich, Lovgach, Makas, Buloychik.

    St Johnstone: Mannus, Mackay, Scobbie, Cregg, Wright, Anderson, MacDonald, Caddis, Wotherspoon, MacLean, Hasselbaink. Substitutes: Banks, Edwards, May, M Davidson, Miller, B Easton, Fallon.

    Referee: Marcin Borski (Poland)

  117. 1633: 

    Stevie May was the goal hero against Rosenborg at McDiarmid Park but the striker is on the bench for this one, along with Murray Davidson, who signed up with the Perth club again last week. Teenage midfielder Liam Caddis starts.

  118. 1631: 

    Motherwell are entering at the third qualifying round stage, while the Saints progressed after a fantastic win over Norwegian side Rosenborg. Hibs fell at the first hurdle and the less said about that the better...

  119. 1629: 

    Good afternoon and welcome to our Europa League qualifying coverage. St Johnstone are first up, with a 17:00 BST kick-off in Belarus, with Motherwell at home to Kuban Krasnodar of Russia at 19:45.

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