Motherwell’s Europa League journey ended in Israel as Hapoel Beer Sheva overcame a spirited showing from the Scottish side.
Leonardo Vitor’s first-half header opened the scoring before a penalty from Josue and a neat finish from Elton Acolatse sealed the game.
Motherwell captain Declan Gallagher was shown a second yellow card in conceding the spot-kick.
But Stephen Robinson can be proud with his side’s efforts in hot conditions.
The Lanarkshire side competed admirably and were well organised until going down to 10 men.
But it is Beer Sheva who will host Czech side Viktoria Plzen in the play-off round next Thursday.
Four wins from five games had infused the Lanarkshire side with confidence, and they started well.
Motherwell moved the ball well in the early stages while keeping a tight structure, until a defensive lapse from Ricki Lamie allowed Jhonatan Agudelo to lash a volley high and wide.
The Scottish Premiership side’s first attempt was saved spectacularly as Ohad Levita got down low to deny Christopher Long’s close range turn-and-hit, before Trevor Carson made an impressive save of his own, diverting a Elton Acolatse effort past his near post.
However, the Northern Ireland goalkeeper could do nothing about the opener. Just minutes before the break, Josue delivered a dangerous free-kick from deep and captain Vitor powered in a header.
The goal was a sucker punch for Robinson’s men, but they came out fighting in the second period as they squandered a glorious chance to level as Gallagher put a free header over the bar.
Similar to the first half, the Fir Park club began to take control, but they were unable to capitalise on another promising spell as another dangerous delivery from Josue resulted in Gallagher dragging Vitor to the deck, allowing Josue to convert calmly from the spot.
The game was effectively gone at that point, but Beer Sheva were not done as Acolastse wrapped up the scoring after finishing well down to Carson’s left following a neat one-two with Sintayehu Sallallich.
Man of the match – Josue
What did we learn?
Motherwell were rightly regarded as underdogs, given they were facing a team who have featured in the Europa League group stages in two of the previous four seasons, but Robinson will view this as an opportunity missed. The Scots had spells throughout, but lacked a clinical edge.
Motherwell return to league duties this Sunday as they welcome Rangers to Fir Park (12:00 BST).
Hapoel Be’er Sheva
- 35BareiroBooked at 58mins
- 4Leonardo Vítor
- 30DadiaBooked at 54mins
- 20TahaBooked at 45mins
- 8KabhaBooked at 15mins
- 10Soares Pesqueira
- 7AcolatseSubstituted forYosefiat 86′minutes
- 32AgudeloBooked at 56minsSubstituted forVarenneat 59′minutes
- 16SallalichSubstituted forMeliat 86′minutes
- 31GallagherBooked at 70mins
- 99LongSubstituted forLangat 72′minutes
- 33O’DonnellBooked at 56mins
- 19PolworthSubstituted forMaguireat 86′minutes
- 32WattBooked at 45minsSubstituted forWhiteat 75′minutes