Estonia Loses 2-0 to Romania, World Cup Qualification Campaign Over
The Estonian national football team lost the last European qualifying game of the 2014 World Cup to Romania, helping the latter clinch a spot in the playoffs and leaving Estonia fifth in the six-team group.
Coming into the game Romania realistically needed a win to continue their qualification dream, while Estonia, having nothing to play for, was expected to field an experimental side.
Although the game ended with an expected victory for the home team in Bucharest, Estonia won fans with sharp and dangerous shooting.
The price of success
Estonian football fans had high expectations for the 2014 World Cup qualifying group, as Romania, Turkey and Hungary could have all been defeated if everything went according to plan.
But in addition to luck, that plan depended on the opponents underestimating Estonia.
The great run during the last qualifying round, when Estonia defeated Serbia and Slovenia away to make it into the playoffs - something that neither Lithuania nor Finland have ever managed to achieve - made opponents this time around more cautious, and Estonia lost the element of surprise.
Romania, Turkey and Hungary all took notice and all defeated Estonia home and away, while Estonia was left to claim six points from Andorra.
The undoubted highlight of Estonia's campaign was the few minutes that separated them from defeating the Dutch in Tallinn in September. A 2-2 draw against the last World Cup's losing finalists is still something to remember.
Final standings in Estonia's qualifying group: