Estonia to Face Southern Neighbors in Football for the 51st Time
The Estonian national football team will face southern rivals Latvia for the 51st time since 1922 tonight in a friendly match in Tallinn.
The first two games, in 1922 and 1933 both ended 1-1, after which results have been disappointing for Estonia.
Out of the 50 games played, Estonia has only won nine, drawing 17 times. The last victory came in a World Cup qualifier in 2005, while the last victory before that came on July 18, 1940, when Estonia beat Latvia 2-1 in Kadriorg Stadium.
The 8,500-strong crowd sang the already banned Estonian national anthem that day and marched to the President's palace after the match, where Konstantin Päts was held under house arrest, jalgpall.ee, the website of the Estonian Football Association said on Sunday.
The first arrests by the Soviet forces took place the same night.
Neither team is currently in good shape heading into the 2014 World Cup qualifying matches in a few weeks, and hope to boost morale with a victory.
Henri Anier, who recently moved to Henri Ojamaa's old club Motherwell, and has scored two goals in two starts for his new club, is expected to lead the line, while both Konstantin Vassiljev and Ragnar Klavan should be available.
The Latvians have a new head coach in Marians Pahars, a former English Premier League player with Southampton, and will look to Artjoms Rudnevs of HSV for goals.
The game will be played at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, kicking off at 19:00 local time.
Champions League football
Estonian women's football champions, Pärnu JK, have made history by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, and will join the 31 other best teams on the continent in the competition.
Pärnu was placed second in the qualifying group, beating the Greek and Macedonian champions 3-1 each and drawing with Finnish champions Vantaa PK-35.
“The weight of it has not yet arrived. Even the players failed to scream and rejoice, only shedding a few tears,” head coach Jüri Saar told jalgpall.ee on Tuesday.