The Estonian men's football team lost its UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match 2:0 at home to Azerbaijan at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn Friday evening.
In somewhat of a wooden spoon prize match, the two teams languished at the bottom of Group F ahead of the game and with slim chances of qualification (Estonia now only has a theoretical chance of doing so, via the playoff route) and had obtained their sole point of their respective campaigns so far against each other, after a 1:1 draw in Baku in June.
September had been a cruel month, again for both sides – Estonia going down 5:0 twice within four days, at home to Sweden and then away to Belgium; Azerbaijan also lost with the same score-line against Sweden.
Kickoff was at 7 p.m. local time, and the visitors went ahead after 9 minutes thanks to a Toral Bajramov header.
Near the end of the first half, Azerbaijan were awarded a penalty due to a handball; Ramil Sheydayev (Buriram United) was successful in sending keeper Karl Jakob Hein (Arsenal) the wrong way.
Estonia's best chance came in the 69th minute when Henri Anier (Lee Man) looked threatening in the penalty area, while 19-year-old debutant Martin Vetkal sent a 20-meter free kick only just over the bar 10 minutes before time.
Thus Estonia remains bottom of the group without a win, and on one point. At the other end of the table, Belgium are though with 16 points from five games, and join France, Portugal, and finals hosts Germany, as the only teams to have qualified so far.
The Estonian team are next in action on Tuesday in a friendly versus Thailand, again at home.
The next European Championship Group F clashes come in mid-November, at home to Austria and then away to Sweden. These are the final qualifiers for this year; the rounds continue next March.
Editor's note: The banner displayed by home fans in the cover image above reads "Embarrassing, EJL." The EJL is football's governing body in Estonia.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Sport