Depleted football national team loses qualifier to Czech Republic

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Estonia national football team. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

After making sudden changes in the team's line-up due to a coronavirus case, the Estonian men's national football team started the 2022 World Cup qualifier cycle with a 2:6 loss to the Czech Republic.

The match, held on neutral ground in Poland, got off to a dream start for Estonia as Rauno Sappinen was able to realize a through ball from Konstantin Vassiljev in the 12th minute to put Estonia up.

The lead only lasted for six minutes however, as Patrik Schick met a cross just to equalize the match. Soon after, Antonin Barak extended the Czechs' lead. Estonia was not capable of dealing with crosses, especially from the defence's left, as Tomas Soucek added another in the 32nd minute and then hit one from long distance in the 43rd minute, making it 1:4 for the Czech Republic at the half.

The second half started with much of the same from the first as the forced their pace on the Estonian squad. Tomas Soucek capped off his hat-trick in the 48th minute, tapping in an easy goal after Estonian defenders were incapable of clearing the ball. Jakub Jankto scored in the 56th minute, giving the Czech Republic a 6:1 lead. Estonia got one back a few minutes before match end with Henri Anier making it 6:2 to finish the match.

The Czech Republic sits atop Group E of the 2022 World Cup qualification cycle with Belgium at second after their 3:1 defeat over Wales.

Estonia's next match will be in Minsk against Belarus on Saturday. The match will be broadcast on ETV2, ERR News will also provide a link to the match.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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