Estonia loses to Northern Ireland in friendly

The Estonian national football team held an international friendly match at A. Le Coq Arena on Sunday, where a cracker of a goal was enough for Northern Ireland to take a 1:0 win.

The Estonian national team started well and was active on the attack. Northern Ireland also got their game running midway through the first half, but a tight first half ended in a 0:0 draw.

Estonian national team manager Thomas Häberli made four substitutions to start the second half and Estonia got off to an active start, but was not able to realize their opportunities with the ball in Northern Ireland's box.

A cracker of a goal (video available below - ed) scored in the 75th minute by the guests' captain Shane Ferguson was enough to eventually lift Northern Ireland to a 1:0 victory.

"A loss is a loss and it feels that much worse, because we were not worse in terms of playing," said Estonian national team captain Konstantin Vassiljev. "It was a very useful friendly, many players got to play, we felt the international level. Except for the result, a very decent match."

The Estonian national team is set to continue their World Cup qualification tournament with a match against Wales on September 8 after enduring a 2:5 loss to Belgium last Thursday. Wales defeated Belarus 3:2 in their most recent bout.

"We have three days to get prepared," Vassiljev said. "Certainly, the speed for Wales might be a little quicker than here. Northern Ireland did not come to us with their normal line-up, but we got a look at what could happen on Wednesday."

Defender Märten Kuusk said Estonia was able to handle Northern Ireland when it comes to defense. "We have to see if there was something we could have done against that shot. We certainly could and have to take a look at it. Going up against Wales, we must also analyze how they play. If we play the same way on defense, we are capable of getting a good result from Wales," Kuusk said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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