Estonia Loses to Finland, Flies to Iceland for Friendly
The Estonian national football team completed the Baltic Cup tournament on Saturday by losing to Finland 2-0, finishing in last place.
Finland took the lead on the 50th minute on a strike by Perparim Hetemaj. Valtteri Moren added a second in the 87th minute.
Head coach Magnus Pehrsson opted for an experimental side, not starting with any player who began against Latvia in the semifinal of the tournament. Sergei Pareiko, Ragnar Klavan, Konstantin Vassiljev, Henrik Ojamaa and Hannes Anier were not in the squad.
The team flies to Iceland today and will play the island nation on Wednesday. The team is in full strength for the game, with Pareiko, Klavan, Vassiljev, Anier and Ojamaa all back in the team. Frank Liivak, the 17-year-old who had his team debut recently, has also traveled to Reykjavik.
Getting the ball rolling
Pehrsson, who took charge of the team a few months ago, said he is gathering an overview of the players, if and how they can be utilized on the pitch. The current run of five friendly games in two weeks should go along way towards that goal.
So far Estonia has tied Gibraltar (1-1), lost to Latvia (0-0 on penalties), and lost to Finland. After Iceland, Estonia will play Tajikistan on Saturday in Tallinn.
He told ERR radio on Sunday that the team has found a general structure on how to defend and switch from defense to attack and vice-versa.
“We (now) know how the team functions, the next question is quality,” he said, adding that once the structure in completely in place, the team can increase pressure on the opponent's defense.
“The ball is rolling, but we must increase the quality of the play and get the best players together,” he said.