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Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
Celtic end Well's Euro dream

Ged Brannan equalised for Motherwell with a free-kick
Motherwell 1-1 Celtic

Motherwell's long-standing dream of winning a place in the Uefa Cup next season was finally extinguished as Celtic claimed a point at Fir Park.

The home side started the game five points behind third-placed Hearts with just four games remaining.

But victory for the Edinburgh side, plus two dropped points at home, meant Motherwell will not be off to Europe.

Celtic, though, should have had the match sewn up by the interval.

Burchill opener

Mark Burchill, who only played because Johann Mjallby was injured in the warm-up, put Celtic ahead when Well keeper Stephen Woods failed to clear the danger.

The Glasgow giants should have gone further ahead when Mark Viduka went down under Benito Kemble's challenge and they were awarded a penalty.

But the Australian striker's spot-kick was saved by Woods and Motherwell were given renewed hope.

On the strike of half-time Celts defender Olivier Tebily brought down John Spencer on the edge of the area and Ged Brannan produced a great strike which curled round the Celtic wall and left keeper Stewart Kerr rooted to the spot.

After the break there were further chances for second-placed Celtic claim a morale-boosting win, but Viduka and Vidar Riseth squandered clear openings.

McNamara out

There was bad news for Celtic when it was revealed Jackie McNamara's season could be over after suffering ligament damage in an innocuous-looking challenge on Don Goodman.

Celtic boss Kenny Dalgish was not pleased with his side's finishing: "We got a lot of opportunities but we didn't get the killer goal.

"We had a couple of one-on-ones and I think if we had got one of those chances it might have been a different story.

"Mark always takes penalties like that but it wasn't the greatest and the keeper made a good save."

Davies undaunted

Motherwell manager Billy Davies urged his team to claim three more wins and finish the season as high as possible.

Davies said: "We let ourselves down after taking our foot off the pedal but we worked very hard and played some good stuff.

"Stephen Woods made a mistake but he made amends with a penalty save afterwards but I felt the penalty was a soft decision from my point of view.

"We now have to keep going to the end of the season and finish as highly as we possibly can.

"I thought we deserved to win because we had the chances in the second half but there was a lot of exciting stuff near the end, unfortunately it wasn't to be."

Teams:

Motherwell: Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Harvey, Brannan, Adams, Goodman, McCulloch, Spencer.
Subs: Nicholas, Nevin, Ramsey, Townsley, Brown.

Celtic: Kerr, Riseth, Mjallby, Tebily, Crainey, McNamara, Healy, Lambert, Berkovic, Mahe, Viduka.
Subs: Gould, Petta, Burchill, Kennedy, Lynch.

Referee: Jim McCluskey (Scotland)

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See also:

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Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.