Football: Kilmarnock succumb to Czech class

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The Independent Online
Kilmarnock 0 Sigma Olomouc 2 Olomouc win 4-0 on aggregate

KILMARNOCK FELL without a bang and barely even a whimper as they tamely accepted defeat in the Uefa Cup before the competition had even reached the first round.

Bobby Williamson's men never looked comfortable as they attempted to overcome a two-goal deficit, and before halftime they were left chasing shadows by their vastly superior opponents. A sending off for Alex Burke four minutes from time merely compounded a miserable night for the Ayrshire side.

Kilmarnock were under pressure from the start. First Marek Heinz shot into the side net before Josef Mucha forced a fine save from Gordon Marshall. It was evident that the Czech side would be dangerous on the break, with their pace causing problems.

The larger-than-usual crowd, which had taken advantage of cut-price admission fees, had little to shout about as Olomouc forced the play. Radim Konig shot across the Kilmarnock goal before the visitors took the lead in the 13th minute. A deep cross from the right found Heinz at the far post, and he climbed above Gus MacPherson to send a header into the corner of the net.

After 20 minutes, Kilmarnock's dreams of European glory crumbled as Olomouc took a 2-0 lead for a four-goal aggregate advantage. Again a header did the damage, this time from a free-kick. The ball was flighted into the penalty area by Konig for Mucha to glance a header past Marshall.

The tie was, at that point, killed off as a contest and only then, when the Czechs had their comfortable lead, were Kilmarnock able to make any impression on the game.

The visitors' goalkeeper, Jindrich Skacel, blocked a shot by Jerome Vareille and, on the half-hour mark, he responded well to push away a Paul Wright shot. Then Ian Durrant was inches wide with a drive two minutes before the interval.

In the 53rd minute the home side came close when Vareille saw his point- blank shot saved by the goalkeeper, but Burke fired the rebound into the side netting.

Kilmarnock (4-4-2): Marshall; MacPherson, Lauchlan, McGowne, Kerr; Nevin (McCutcheon, 64), Holt (Mahood, h-t), Durrant, Burke; Vareille, Wright (Roberts, 76). Substitutes not used: Mitchell, Baker, Bagan, Meldrum (gk).

Sigma Olomouc (5-4-1): Skacel; Konig, Machala, Kovar, Kotulek, Kucera; Mucha (Ryska, 81), Barborik (Stefka, 84), Ujfalusi, Heinz (Vlcek, 69); Balcarek. Substitutes not used: Krohmer, Drulak, Kovac, Pizanowski (gk).

Referee: L Baptista (Portugal).