Estonian football team Nõmme Kalju lost its second leg match against Vaduz of Liechtenstein 2-0 in Tallinn on Thursday evening, losing 5-1 on aggregate and saying goodbye to international club competition for this year.
Kalju had hoped to reverse the 3-1 defeat suffered in Liechtenstein a week earlier, and a 2-0 win would have seen them go on to the next round, but it was the visitors who scored.
Mauro Caballero scored on the 59th minute and Naser Aliji doubled the visitor's lead 15 minutes later.
Sergei Terehhov, Kalju's manager, said the defeat in the first leg forced his team to take risks, which did not pay off. “Everyone gave their best and I am satisfied with the boys,” he added.
Estonian club teams usually fare badly in European competitions. The first leg of the first round of Champions League and Europa League qualifiers brought Estonian teams two draws and two wins, one of the best ever starts. Unfortunately only one of the four teams, Kalju, managed a good showing in the second leg of the first round, as FC Levadia, FC Flora and Sillamäe Kalev all crashed out.
Kalju, the only team to reach round 2, is now also out.
The four teams bagged a total of 1.2 million euros from UEFA. Levadia, which played in the Champions League qualifiers, received 200,000 for participation and an additional 250,000 for becoming Estonian champions. Levadia lost in the first qualifying round on the away-goal rule, drawing away 0-0 with Northern Ireland champions Crusaders and again drawing at home, this time 1-1.
FC Flora and Sillamäe Kalev both picked up 200,000 euros each. Both lost their first qualifying round ties. Kalju, which was the only team to pass to round two, won a total of 410,000 euros.
Cash from European compeitions plays a big part in Estonian teams' budgets, which are around 800,000 euros per year for top teams.
Editor: J.M. Laats