Sports Roundup: Not a very merry Christmas
The Estonian national football team took a 3-0 beating from Qatar on Saturday. The friendly in Doha was lost in the first half, with the hosts scoring three times in a 12-minute span.
Qatar, which ranks 11 places below Estonia in FIFA rankings, took the lead from Mohammed Muntari's goal on the 24th minute. Six minutes later Abdel Karim Hassan scored again and Estonia's hopes were crushed on the 36th minute, when Mohammed Ismail put the hosts up 3-0.
Estonia used the match to test its reserve players, some of which who had never seen the field for Estonia. Estonia suffered a 2-0 defeat to Qatar four years ago. Qatar has not lost in 10 straight matches.
Estonia's next match is a Euro 2016 group qualifier at Switzerland on March 27.
Estonian US National Football League player Margus Hunt will see the playoffs this season, although he has been reduced to a spectator for the last month of the regular season.
Hunt, a defensive end, did not play Sunday night, as his Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) team lost 27-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) on the road in the last game of the regular season.
Hunt is the first Estonian who is not a US citizen to play in the NFL. He suffered an ankle injury in a game on November 17, and has been listed as questionable to play ever since on a game-to-game basis. The second-year player had been demoted to a backup before the injury, struggling with proper technique, and has only recorded six tackles and one sack.
With the loss, the Bengals lost out on the AFC North division championship to the Steelers. However, Cincinnati qualified for the NFL playoffs, which start this upcoming Sunday, with road game against the Indianapolis Colts (11-5).
On a more positive note, Tallinn FC Levadia's forward Igor Subbotin is statistically the fourth-best scorer in the world this year. Subbotin scored 42 goals in 2014 - 32 in Estonian Premium League, 2 in Champions League qualification games, 3 in Premier League and 8 in Estonian Cup.
Subbotin made his international debut for Estonia on May 31, 2014 against Finland.
On the fifth place is Yevgeni Kabayev, a Russian striker who plays for Estonian club Sillamäe Kalev.
World's best goal-scorers of 2014:
61 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
58 - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
55 - Jonatan Soriano (Salzburg Red Bull)
45 - Igor Subbotin (Tallinn FC Levadia)
42 - Jevgeni Kabajev (Sillamäe Kalev)
42 - Eran Zahavi (Tel Aviv Maccabi)
40 - Alan Carvalho (Salzburg Red Bull)
36 - David Lafata (AC Sparta Prague)