Estonia loses 0-2 to England at Wembley (2)

Estonian football team lost 2-0 to England. (Foto: Reuters/Scanpix)
10/9/2015 10:22 AM
Category: Sports

Estonia held on 44 minutes against England, who scored twice to keep its perfect qualifying tournament run with nine wins from nine games.

Estonia showed resilience and composure on the ball, even putting together a few decent attacking moves, despite the 77-place-gap between the two in FIFA rankings. England had 25 shots on goal, 8 on target, Estonia had 4, none on target. Goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu the man-of-the-match for Estonia.

Friday's other results in group E of the EURO 2016 qualifying tournament mean Estonia still has a minute chance of making the tournament. Switzerland, second in the group, beat San Marino 7-0 to cement second place, while third place Slovenia pulled away from Estonia but only managed to draw with Lithuania, thanks to a 87th minute goal. That means Slovenia is on 13 points while Estonia and Lithuania both have 10. England and Switzerland have both qualified while the third place in the group goes on to pplay-off games.

Estonia hosts Switzerland on Monday in the last group match, while Slovenia is expected to beat San Marino, dead last. Lithuania hosts England.

To qualify, Estonia needs to beat Switzerland, while both Slovenia and Lithuania lose. Estonia also has to overturn a 9-goal difference compared to Slovenia.

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15 minutes: England began the match with great intent and many wonder how Estonia managed to keep its goal clean in the first 15 minutes. Mihkel Aksalu, the Estonian goalkeeper, has had to pull off a number of saves. Estonia has had a few runs in to the English half, but it is mostly one-way traffic.

First 30 minutes: England has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the Estonian defense. But the Estonian players are not afraid of the home team, looking surprisingly comfortable on the ball. The first 30 minutes end with Estonia's first shot on the English goal... which is blocked.

Half-time: England has been forced to change from quick and short passing to shooting from every possibility. This has given Estonia more space to attack, putting together a few good moves closer to the England goal.

Estonia has had good organization and composure, and luck until the 45th minute, when the defense forgot about Theo Walcott, who had only Aksalu to beat, putting England in the lead just before the half-time whistle.

In other games, Slovenia is up 1-0 against Lithuania while Siwitzerland is leading by the same score-line against San Marino. Neither a good situation for Estonia.

60 minutes: England continue with relentless pressure. More stunning saves from Aksalu. Estonia continues to show resilience, England could be up 5-0.

75 minutes: England is stronger, faster, more technical, but still only 1-0. 75,000 spectators watching the game, which has notably slowed down.

Full-time: Teniste's slip on 85th minute allows substitute Vardy a free pass to Sterling, who runs in to meet the ball and diverts it in to the back of the net. 2-0 final score.

The Estonian team is as follows: Mihkel Aksalu, Taijo Teniste, Enar Jääger, Ragnar Klavan, Artur Pikk, Ken Kallaste, Aleksandr Dmitrijev, Karol Mets, Sergei Zenjov, Konstantin Vassiljev and Ats Purje.

The English team: Joe Hart, Nathaniel Clyne, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, Theo Walcott and Harry Kane.

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Estonia has faced England three times, losing 3-0 twice in 2007. It also lost the current qualification round's home match 1-0 in Tallinn this year.

J.M. Laats

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