Video: National team ends goalless streak, not enough to beat Lithuania
While the Estonian men's national football team managed to end their run of games without a goal Wednesday night, the same could not be said for their losing streak, which now stands at 11 defeats following a 3:1 loss at home to Lithuania.
The 718 spectators at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn saw the opening goal come on the 14th minute when Lithuanian forward Arvydas Novikovas was able to score after taking his time in the box. The guests doubled their lead 18 minutes later, with Gratas Sirgedas scoring on a rebound after an initial shot hit the post.
After a 0:2 first half, the Lithuanian side did not wait long in the second half to score their third, as a bad clearence from Estonian goalkeeper Matvei Igonen led to a through ball which ended with Arvydas Novikovas' second goal, just 36 seconds after half start.
All goals are available for re-watch in the video attached to the article above.
Estonia was able to net a consolation goal, however - their first in eight matches- when a cross from Siim Luts on the 58th minute was converted by Viljandi Tulevik midfielder Pavel Marin.
Marin said he feels happy to be in the national squad, but wishes he could have done more. "I feel glad to be back in the national team but the first [Lithuanian] goal was on me. I had a bad touch and the first half crumbled from there," the midfielder told ERR post-match.
"We were not able to gather ourselves and I will ask for forgiveness from the whole team. At half-time, the manager told us to keep our heads up and I think the second half was the type of game I more or less wanted. I fought, I was available and I scored one. The ball was just in front of me and it was not hard to put it in the back of the net from there," Marin added.
Team manager Karel Voolaid believes the team gave their all and the result was due to the fact that their opponents capitalized on their chances better than the Estonians.
Voolaid said post-match: "There were many different nuances; the match consists of different situations. I would not say we had low confidence in the start of the second half, the match started without us being able to clear things. The boys were full of desire in the dressing room to come back out, the 3:0 [to start the second half - ed.) was just a cold shower.
He added the national team must practice hard. "We have to rest and clear our minds and practice, restore our power by Sunday (UEFA Nations League match against North Macedonia - ed.). The players we have, they are giving their all. I did not see a single player on the pitch today not giving it their all. If that is not enough currently, we must inject confidence as trainers, work with them and prepare them for the next match."
Estonia will play its next match at home, the second in seven days, against North Macedonia on Sunday. They will face Armenia three days later.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste