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Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK

Sport: Football

Monaco end brave Saints effort

St Johnstone 3-3 Monaco (aggregate 3-6)

St Johnstone's Uefa Cup campaign came to an end after an exciting game at McDiarmid Park.

Andy Gillies reports from McDiarmid Park
Saints' chances were slim going into this game with a 3-0 deficit to the former French champions.

But Saints went out with their heads held high after making a dream start in their unlikely bid to turn around the tie.

A fiifth-minute Philippe Leonard own goal wasd cancelled out just four minutes later when Dado Prso gave the visitors the vital cushion of an away goal.

Goals from John Riise and Sylvain Legwinski put the tie out of sight, although Nick Dasovic and John O'Neil at least kept St Johnstone's unbeaten European record at home intact.

The opening goal came when O'Neil crossed from the by-line to Miguel Simao, whose miscued shot was directed into his own goal by Leonard.

In the ninth minute Prso picked the ball up before unleashing a fierce strike from the edge of the box and any doubt over the tie was ended.

Out of sight

Monaco put the tie well out of sight in the 24th minute when Prso found Riise in the box and he slotted the ball home from a tight angle.

In the 33rd minute St Johnstone drew level on the night when Dasovic raced on to Lowndes' knock-down to fire home past World Cup-winning goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.

Just before half time Italian international Marco Simone released Prso through the middle but he blazed his shot wide of Main's post.

Moments later St Johnstone had claims for a penalty turned down when Barthez appeared to foul Simao in the area but the referee waved away protests.

In the second half chances were less frequent but St Johnstone still proved a match for the Monte Carlo millionaires.

In the 69th minute Argentine substitute Marcello Gallardo found Legwinski, who rose above Dasovic in the box to head home at the near post.

But Saints got back level seven minutes late when the Monaco defence failed to clear McAnestie's corner and O'Neil stabbed the ball home through a crowded area.

The miracle for St Johnstone might not have happened but Monaco are capable of going a long way in the competition and this was a more-than-creditable performance by the team from Perth.

"I'm delighted with the performance," enthused Saints boss Sandy Clark.

"But I can't help feeling that the referee could have done his job better.

"If he had given a penalty it may be could have been a different game after that." "Sometimes these decisions can go against you but he must have seen it different.

"But they are a quality team. They have some really good players but we must have frightened them.

"They decided to bring on the big guns like David Trezeguet, Marcello Gallardo and Ludovic Tiuly so we must have done something to have frightened them a bit."

St Johnstone: Main, McQuillan, Bollan, Dasovic, Kernaghan, Griffin, Simao, O'Neil, Lowndes, O'Halloran, Kane. Subs: McAnespie, Grant, Thomas, McCluskey, McBride, O'Boyle, Ferguson.

Monaco: Barthez, Marquez, Lamouchi, Simone, Legwinski, Leonard, Sagnol, Prso, N'Diaye, Irles, Riise. Subs: Contreras, Giuly, Trezeguet, Gallardo, Sarnerud, Rodriguez, Sylva.

Referee: Victor Torres (Spain)

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