Motherwell 1 Celtic 2: Corrigan's backpass error takes Celtic into the final

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The Independent Online

Shaun Maloney fired a controversial late winner at Hampden Park last night to put Celtic into the CIS Insurance Cup final. Maloney blasted the winning goal from an indirect free-kick with two minutes to go, firing through a ruck of Motherwell players after goalkeeper Graeme Smith had picked up Martyn Corrigan's backpass.

The Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc had made a mess of a cross in the 11th minute to gift Motherwell the lead. Kevin McBride lobbed the ball to the edge of the six-yard box, but the Polish goalkeeper made a half-hearted effort to get to the ball, allowing Richie Foran to jump above him and head into the empty net.

Celtic did not look comfortable but equalised in the 29th minute when Maloney picked the ball up in his own half and ran at the Motherwell defence. He flicked a fine reverse pass into the path of Maciej Zurawski, who managed to force the ball past Smith and into the net, despite the goalkeeper getting a foot to it.

Motherwell remained the more dangerous team, however, and Boruc made a great save from Scott McDonald's header, then Foran crashed a volley just over the crossbar from inside the area.

After the interval, John Hartson was wide with a header when well placed.

With extra time looking likely, Corrigan put his side in all sorts of trouble, forcing Smith to save a woeful backpass and Maloney made them pay. As the Motherwell players sprinted off their goalline, Maloney blasted Hartson's free-kick into the net.

Motherwell (4-4-2): G Smith; Corrigan, Craigan, McLean, Hammell; McBride (O'Donnell, 89), McCormack, Kerr, Scott McDonald: Hamilton (Thermeus, 89), Foran. Substitutes not used: Meldrum (gk), Fagan, Reynolds.

Celtic (4-4-2): Boruc; Virgo (Keane, 89), McManus, Varga, Camara (Pearson, 72); Nakamura (Thompson, 65), Petrov, Lennon, Malone; Zurawski, Hartson. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Dublin.

Referee: C Thomson.

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