The Estonian women's national football team defeated the Faroe Islands 3-1 in the final of the Baltic Cup in Tartu on Sunday to claim their first win in the competition for eight years.
Estonia quickly seized the initiative in the first half, creating several promising attacks and causing problems for the Faeroese defense before taking the lead on 19 minutes. After pressuring a Faroese defender into a mistake, Liisa Merisalu (Helsingin Palloseura ) then surged into the box and crossed for Lisette Tammik (FC Flora), who made it 1-0.
Estonia remained on top for most of the half, but were unable to add to their tally before the break.
Although the second half started much more evenly, it was still something of a surprise when the Faeroe Islands drew level in the 53rd minute. Estonian goalkeeper Karina Kork (IFK Kalmar )failed to deal with a backpass under pressure, only clearing as far as Faeroese striker Heidi Sevdal (NSI). Sevdal's strike was slowly heading towards the bottom corner of the goal before being helped on its way by Estonian defender Inna Kiss-Zlidnis (Ferencváros), sliding in at the back post.
Estonia recovered quickly from the shock, however, and were back in front just seven minutes later after Vlada Kubassova (FC Como) headed home Lisette Tammik's cross. Estonia's victory was confirmed in the 77th minute with a strike from Liisa Merisalu, who after being released by Kairi Himanen (Saku Sporting) made no mistake in front of goal.
The final score of 3-1 gave Estonia's women's team their first Baltic Cup since 2014, and joint head coaches Sirje Roops and Anastassia Morkovkina clearly delighted with the result.
"The team did everything we have taught them this year," Roops told ERR. "This time, everything went the way it was supposed to! We've wanted to play with the ball all the time and this tournament allowed us to do that really well," Roops said.
"We are the Queens of the Baltics! It's great that this title has finally come back to Estonia," said Anastassia Morkovkina. "We've been waiting for this tournament all year, every team has been working hard to try and win it."
The tournament's 3rd-4th place match also took place on Sunday in Võru. Lithuania, who lost to Estonia in the semi-finals on Thursday, took the bronze with a 2-1 victory over Latvia.
Editor: Michael Cole