Motherwell defeat to Panathinaikos cruel - Stuart McCall

Motherwell lost 3-0 to Panathinaikos in Athens

Manager Stuart McCall thought Motherwell's 5-0 aggregate defeat to Panathinaikos was not a fair reflection of the Champions League qualifying tie.

"For three quarters of the tie - the game at Fir Park and the first half tonight - there's nothing between the sides," McCall told BBC Scotland.

The Greeks were 3-0 winners in Athens, prompting McCall to say; "It was cruel.

"But there is no need to pick the boys up mentally because there was a lot of good performances."

Motherwell travelled to Greece as firm underdogs looking to overturn a two-goal deficit against a side full of international talent.

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Interview - Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

McCall's team survived an early onslaught to go in goalless at the interval.

However, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Charalampos Mavrias, who were both on target in the first leg, scored fine goals before Ibrahim Sissoko sealed an emphatic victory.

Christodoulopoulos hammered in a fabulous free kick but McCall questioned whether any foul should have been awarded.

"We've been done by a free kick again," he lamented.

"I thought that it was harsh. I doubt it would have been given in Scotland, because there's no doubt Shaun Hutchinson won the ball. I heard the boy yelp from the sidelines and maybe that's what decided it.

"The second goal was a classic counter-attack. We had good possession 10 yards outside their penalty box and the same scorer from last week broke away and did us again.

"And in the last 10-15 minutes the heat told."

McCall had thought his side merited a share of the spoils at Fir Park and was pleased with the first-half showing in Athens.

"Other than first minute we didn't have a worry on our goal in the first half, the shape was good and we were comfortable," he added.

"We were hoping to get to 60-65 minutes all square then look to put them under some pressure but it wasn't to be."

Teenage defenders Adam Cummins and Zane Francis-Angol both got a taste of the action at the Olympic Stadium, with the former starting in a three-man central defence.

McCall was delighted to see the youngsters gain some valuable experience but hopes to bolster his small squad before the end of August.

"We haven't made much money from this tie but I would like to think there would be an opportunity to strengthen the squad.

"But the money that the SPL clubs are going to be getting is far better than was first thought.

"We certainly need a few more, there's no doubt about it. It's not just me whinging."

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