Borussia Dortmund 1,

Motherwell 0.

THEY were supposed to be bit players in the great, #16m Borussia

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roadshow, but Motherwell left the Westfalen Stadium last night with a

new, hard-won and well-deserved reputation as a side of no little skill

and a great deal of pride.

They face an enormous task in overcoming the single-goal defeat they

suffered in this first leg of the UEFA Cup, when the teams again meet at

Fir Park in a fortnight, but no-one can argue with Motherwell's right to

consider themselves as live contenders for the finest win in their

history.

It was, as it had to be, a team effort that helped them through

against one of the most stylish sides in Europe.

In defence, apart from a few lapses in concentration which allowed

Andreas Moeller to slip in and score 13 minutes after the interval, they

were tremendous.

Brian Martin and Chris McCart stood rock steady under immense pressure

at the start of each half, while every midfield man worked hard, none

more so than Paul Lambert.

Up front, Dougie Arnott pestered Julio Cesar so much that the Germans

changed round their side at half-time, switching Matthias Sammer to

sweeper. And Tommy Coyne did well but he will be the first to concede

that he missed the best chance of the night, long before the Germans

scored.

Arnott's replacement late in the second half, Paul McGrillen, was sent

off. He now will have to watch along with the rest of us as his

team-mates attempt to do what many people felt was impossible, and beat

Borussia. It is a tall order but it is anything but impossible now.

Yet things had looked less than bright in the opening minutes when the

Germans found top gear with remarkable ease. Happily, however,

Motherwell's defence held and stayed disciplined to emerge with their

goal intact.

Having survived that uncomfortable opening spell, the Fir Park team

began to gain ground, and suddenly the Germans looked vulnerable.

In the tenth minute, for instance, Coyne and Arnott worked well

together, leaving defenders struggling before Coyne smacked the ball

into the side net.

But Lambert would have been the first-half hero if he had been a

little luckier when he started and almost finished a fine move, pushing

the ball to John Davies who knocked it forward to Coyne. And when his

low, hard cross came over, Lambert was just pipped by a defender's

outstretched leg.

Sammer, who had been fouled by Davies earlier -- the Motherwell man

was booked -- had the yellow card shown to him for a reciprocal foul on

Davies, but overall the action was not excessively physical.

Coyne was unfortunate not to open the scoring as the Scottish team

gathered momentum. Lambert sent the ball to Arnott, and although Cesar

intercepted, he failed to control the ball and Arnott quickly sent Coyne

clear. The striker's shot was well struck but Klos did well to put it

away for a corner.

Then the best chance of all was missed by the man most likely to

score, Coyne. He took the ball from Cesar, then went in on goal as Klos

rushed out. The striker steered the ball around the keeper but outside a

post. The sigh of relief from 34,000 home fans nearly blew up a gale.

Inevitably, Motherwell were to regret that miss. The Germans,

disturbed by their weakness in defence, brought Sammer into the sweeper

role and put on Poulsen for Kree. The change had an instant effect,

instilling a new confidence in Borussia who forced a succession of

corners, from one of which Motherwell had a narrow escape.

Riedle met the ball a few yards out but his shot was blocked by Steve

Woods. However, when the ball rebounded to the head of Moeller, it

looked a certain score. But he aimed the ball straight at Woods.

McCart interrupted the flow with a good header from a Rob McKinnon

free kick, but in 57 minutes Moeller scored a goal of quality. Poulsen's

free kick caught the Motherwell defence flat-footed for once, and

Moeller sprang forward, juggled the ball on his foot, and then sent it

past Woods.

After that blow Motherwell came forward with spirit and again McCart

went close with a header.

In 67 minutes they gave Arnott a break, replacing him with Kirk, and

soon after that Borussia brought on 17-year-old Lars Ricken for Riedle.

With 12 minutes left Motherwell tried another substitute, McGrillen

for Davies, and the new man had the enterprise to attempt to lob Klos

shortly after his arrival. But he was soon to depart after a two-footed

tackle on Sammer which enraged the Maltese referee who showed him the

red card.

Afterwards, Motherwell manager Alex McLeish said: ''I thought we did

very well but I'm disappointed we didn't score here.

''I'd have been happy with a 1-0 defeat before the game but now I feel

we could have taken something from it,'' he added.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND -- Klos, Reinhardt, Schmidt, Kree, Cesar, Sammer,

Reuter, Zorc, Chapuisat, Moeller, Riedle. Substitutes -- de Beer,

Freund, Poulsen, Franck, Ricken.

MOTHERWELL -- Woods, Shannon, McKinnon, Philliben, Martin, McCart,

Lambert, Dolan, Coyne, Arnott, Davies. Substitutes -- Kirk, Allan,

McGrillen, McMillan, McLeish.

Referee -- C Agius (Malta).