Murphy strike melts Icemen
Motherwell progressed through to the third qualifying round of the Europa League after a 1-0 win over Breidablik
Last Updated: 22/07/10 10:47pm
Motherwell progressed through to the third qualifying round of the Europa League after a 1-0 win over Breidablik.
Jamie Murphy scored the only goal of the game to give Craig Brown's side a 2-0 aggregate success.
Motherwell will face Norwegian side Aalesunds in the next round with an away game on 29th July and the return at Fir Park seven days later.
Breidablik stuck with the same XI which lost narrowly in Lanarkshire while Well boss Craig Brown made one change, defender Steven Saunders coming in for Chris Humphrey who started on the bench with Tom Hateley moving in to midfield.
The Fir Park men started positively, pushing for the goal which would leave their opponents needing three to go through.
However, it was the home side who almost scored five minutes in to the game but captain Kari Arsaelsson headed just wide of the target.
In the 20th minute Breidablik forward Gudmundur Petursson had a drive which flew over the crossbar after Stephen Craigan headed a free-kick from Kristinn Jonsson 25 yards clear.
The Icelandic league leaders, playing in Europe at home for the first time, edged the first half and in the 36th minute Petursson again missed a good chance with the Motherwell defence defending desperately, Saunders throwing himself to block the effort.
GoalIn the 42nd minute the home side paid for their profligacy in front of goal when the pacey Murphy grabbed the opener, his record-equalling fifth European goal for the Fir Park side.
It looked a long way back for the home side but minutes in to the second half, amid some more hesitancy in the Well defence, Gudmundur Krisjansson eased past Saunders on the left-hand side of the box but could only hit the side netting with his drive.
In the 54th minute, after Elfar Freyr Helgason had fouled Murphy 25 yards from goal, Forbes crashed a free-kick against the post and back in to the keeper's arms.
In the 73rd minute though, moments after Arsaelsson's header was cleared off the line by Mark Reynolds, Alfred Finnbogason dipped a shot from 20 yards over the bar.
There were more near misses at both ends in the final stages but Motherwell were able to cruise to the final whistle with the prospect of another long journey to Norway next week.