Estonia kicks off Nations League with 2-0 win over San Marino
The Estonian men's national football team kicked off their Nations League campaign on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over San Marino, at home in Tallinn.
After a quiet start, Estonia took the lead in the 24th minute when FCI Levadia striker Robert Kirss scored his first goal for the national team, converting Mattias Käit's headed cross from 10 yards out.
Eight minutes later, two clear-cut chances fell to Joonas Tamme. San Marino goalkeeper Elia Benededettini parried the first from close-range, but, after Vlasi Sinjavski found Tamme's head with a pinpoint cross on the follow-up, the Levadia man made no mistake.
The second half passed at a leisurely pace, with Estonia's best chance falling to Kirss, who, on this occasion, failed to convert Sinjavski's low cross into the net.
San Marino, who occupy last place in FIFA's world rankings, made three substitutions just before the hour-mark. The triple switch led to immediate signs of improvement, enabling the visitors to maintain more possession inside the Estonian half.
However, the nearest San Marino came to pulling a goal back ended in disappointment, when Adolfo Hirsch was unable to get a shot on goal, following a superb pass from Nicola Nanni.
In the evening's other Nations League fixtures, Norway and Sweden both recorded victories away from home, against Serbia and Slovenia respectively, while Iceland had to settle for a 2-2 draw in Israel.
Estonia's next Nations League game is away to Malta on Thursday June 9.
Before that, the team head to San Sebastian, Spain to face Argentina in a friendly match on June 5.
Founded in 2018, the Nations League runs every two years, while its main aim has been to replace the friendlies often played in FIFA's international calendar with a more competitive format.
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Editor: Michael Cole