Motherwell crashed out the Europa League with a late Extra time sickener in Stjarnan.
The Steelmen, who led 2-0 at Fir Park before being pegged back in injury-time, again got an early goal when Steven Hammell scored a rare header but Keith Lasley gave away his third penalty of the tie and Olafur Finsen levelled in the 37th minute.
Lionel Ainsworth volleyed Motherwell ahead midway through the second half, but Rolf Toft took the game into extra-time with an impressive strike five minutes from time and Atli Johansson scored a spectacular winner in the second period of extra-time to secure a 5-4 aggregate win.
Motherwell forced a succession of early corners on the artificial surface and the pressure paid off in the 12th minute when Hammell powered a header into the top corner from Ainsworth’s delivery.
Lasley came close from another corner when he fired just wide and Motherwell were looking comfortable but Hammell had to throw himself in front of Toft’s shot to maintain the away lead.
And Lasley was soon on the end of a controversial decision by Greek referee Antonis Giachos, who ruled he had brought down Johansson in the box, although the award might easily have gone in Motherwell’s favour after the Stjarnan player brushed into the midfielder’s body and fell over.
Finsen, just as he did twice at Fir Park, converted the penalty.
Lasley was determined to atone and almost did so on the stroke of half-time with a volley that was well-stopped by Ingvar Jonsson.
Motherwell almost fell behind early in the second half but Dan Twardzik came off his line quickly to foil Toft.
But Stuart McCall’s side came roaring back and Lasley came close again following another corner when his shot was deflected over.
Craig Reid’s cross was then deflected on to the post and Ainsworth’s delivery was just turned wide as the hosts continued to live dangerously.
Stjarnan broke and Pablo Punyed shot wide just before Ainsworth put Motherwell ahead for the third time in the tie.
Josh Law, who scored twice in the first 19 minutes at Fir Park, sent in a delightful ball and Ainsworth volleyed home from close range.
Motherwell almost squandered their lead again when Hordur Arnason got in behind Reid but he made a hash of his finish.
McCall, knowing his men would at least get to extra-time unless Stjarnan scored twice, brought on Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol for Ainsworth and Law in the 74th minute for fresh legs and more defensive strength.
But there was another twist when Toft levelled with five minutes left as he shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Motherwell lost Stuart Carswell to injury early in extra-time as Jack Leitch came on and Jonsson made a great double stop from Lasley and Sutton, but the hosts then missed two good chances.
And Stjarnan, who are unbeaten in the league after 12 matches, won it with seven minutes left when Johansson fired a long-range volley in off the bar to set up a tie with Lech Poznan.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Samsung Vollurinn
FT: Stjarnan 3 – 2 Motherwell
31mins: Reid booked as Stjarnan run down the clock
30mins: 3 minutes added on…
26mins: Corner to ‘Well, Sutton heads just past but ref has ruled he had fouled Praest.
22mins: GOAL! Stjarnan make it 3 – 2
18mins: Sutton wins a corner… Jonsson punches clear and gets injured in the process.
Half time in extra time: Stjarnan 2 – 2 Motherwell
14mins: Stjarnan sub, Bjorgvinsson off for Otteson Palsson
13mins: Lasley booked for a foul on Arnasson in the Stjarnan box….
12mins: Ball just doesn’t quite drop for Sutton inside the box and Jonsson gathers at his feet
8mins: Lasley then Sutton denied superbly by Jonsson!
4mins: Motherwel sub: Carswell limps off. Took a knock from the corner. He desperately wants to come back on but McCall opts for Jack Leitch
2mins: ‘Well get a corner but Jonsson is there to pluck the ball out the air
First half of extra time underway….
FT: Stjarnan 2 – 2 Motherwell. An extra 30 minutes looms…
2 minutes added on…
Picked the ball up on the edge of the box, and lashed it into the top corner.
Heading for extra time here,,,,
85mins: GOAL! Toft pulls Stjarnan level!
80mins: Into the final 10….still 2 – 1 to ‘Well
74mins: Motherwell subs….Kerr and FranCis-Angol on for Law and Ainsworth
70mins: Toft leaves a boot in on Twardzik and his booked.
69mins: Bit of a let off there as Arnason got in behind Reid. From a narrow angle, he sliced his shot well wide.
66mins: AINSWORTH volleys home from close range from Law’s lovely ball in!!!
64mins: Punyed races on goal, Twardzik does enough to put him off and he drags his shot just wide.
62mins: Ainsworth’s low cross to Sutton is only just cleared for a corner by Praest! Great spell for ‘Well,
60mins: Yet another Motherwell corner. Can’t make it count as Vemmelund heads clear
58mins: Reid’s low cross is deflected and hits the post!
55mins: Sutton forces a corner for ‘Well…Lasley’s shot is almost defelcted over Jonsson!
52mins: Great save from Twardzik, sliding out to the feet of Toft to deny a certain goal!
Second half underway….
HT: Stjarnan 1 – 1 Motherwell
45mins: What as save from Jonsson to deny Lasley’s right footed volley!
On initial viewing looked like Toft was behind Lasley and kicked his leg and fell over. WIll need to see again.
43mins: Carswell booked for dissent.
37mins: GOAL – Finsen converts.
36mins: Stjarnan have a penalty!!
33mins: Great defending from Hammell as he throws himself in front of Toft’s
29mins: Stjarnan get a corner when it was clearly a foul on Hammell. Comes to no harm anyway.
26mins: Early Stjarnan sub, Toft on for Gunnarsson
25mins: Ainsworth cuts in on his left foot but his shot from distance lack power. Easy save.
24mins: McManus booked for a rash tackle on Punyed.
22mins: Lasley drills a shot just wide of the post from a corner routine. Unlucky!
20mins: Great diagonal ball from Ainsworth searching for Sutton. The big man would have been in but for Rauschenberg’s header
17mins: Corner to Stjarnan…….headed clear by Carswell
13mins: Yet another corner, falls to Hammell again but he opts to clip it back into the box, ‘keeper gathers.
11mins: What a goal that was! A superb header from 12yards into the top corner! 0-1
A STEVIE HAMMELL HEADER!!!!
10mins: Reid forces another corner…..GGOOOAAALLLLL!!!
8mins: Decent ball into the box by Ainsworth but Jonsson is there to gather.
6mins: Johansson has a shot
4mins: Another ‘Well corner but this time the ref says McManus was climbing on Praest
2mins: Early corner for ‘Well but it’s headed clear by Vemmelund
1min: Game is underway here in Iceland!
Stjarnan manager Runar Pall Sigmunsson
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall: