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Coleraine in penalty shootout heartbreak as Linfield shocked by Maltese

Bannsiders in dramatic Euro exit to Motherwell as Linfield shocked by Maltese

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Dejected Coleraine players as last night’s penalty shootout goes horribly wrong against Motherwell at the Showgrounds

Dejected Coleraine players as last night’s penalty shootout goes horribly wrong against Motherwell at the Showgrounds

Trevor Carson is the hero for Motherwell

Trevor Carson is the hero for Motherwell

Dejected Coleraine players as last night’s penalty shootout goes horribly wrong against Motherwell at the Showgrounds

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Trevor Carson broke Coleraine hearts with a stunning hat-trick of penalty saves as the Bannsiders exited the Europa League losing a shoot-out 3-0 to Motherwell following a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Showgrounds after extra time,

And on a disappointing night for Irish League clubs in Europe, Linfield were mightily disappointed with their performance and the result as they were shocked 1-0 at home to Maltese champions Floriana.

For both the Blues and Coleraine going out at the second qualifying round of the competition meant losing out on the possibility of adding another £250,000 each to their bank balances having already won around £700,000 and £640,000 respectively for their European adventures this season.

In the penalty shoot-out, Killyleagh man Carson excelled, making fabulous stops to deny Ian Parkhill, Lyndon Kane and Gareth McConaghie with Mark O'Hara, Tony Watt and Stephen O'Donnell scoring for Stephen Robinson's side who will now meet Hapoel Beer-Sheva from Israel.

Earlier Motherwell took a two goal lead at the break.

They led through Callum Long and Tony Watt before the Bannsiders, who had reached this stage with a stunning penalties success against Maribor in Slovenia, roared back in the second period with two Ben Doherty penalties, the second of which was in the 90th minute and led to a red card for visiting defender Bevis Mugabi who tangled with Eoin Bradley in the box.

While gutted to go out Oran Kearney's men can feel proud of their efforts against a side that finished third in the Scottish Premiership last term but at Windsor Park Linfield, who had defender Ross Larkin sent off in the second half, weren't at the races for long periods as they went down to an early first half deflected strike from Matias Nicolas Garcia.

It was a bitterly disappointing exit for the Blues who had started as firm favourites to build on thier earlier heroics,

Both sides will now have to wait like everyone else involved in the Irish League until next month for their next competitive match with the domestic season due to start in October.

Belfast Telegraph