The Estonian women's national football team played their final game of the year on Tuesday, losing 1-4 away to Israel in the UEFA Women's Nations League. The result means Estonia miss out on a place in the play-offs, which would have given them a chance to gain promotion to League B for the next edition of the Nations League.
Just as they did when the teams last met in September encounter, Israel took an early lead on Tuesday night. This time it took only three minutes for captain Sharon Beck (FC Köln)f to break the deadlock, firing the opening goal past Estonian keeper Karina Kork (IFK Kalmar).
Despite falling behind, Estonia began exerting more pressure on their opponents and created some dangerous opportunities inside the Israeli penalty area. Jaanika Volkov (FC Flora), Kelly Rosen (FC Flora) and Kristina Bannikova (Pärnu) all had shots on goal. Another promising chance fell to Siret Räämet (FC Flora), whose header from a corner went goalwards, only to find the Israeli defense alert to the danger.
Israel doubled their advantage in the 39th minute thanks to a header from Kansas Jayhawks forward Shira Elinav.
After the break, Israel continued where they had left off in the first half and Beck grabbed her second of the match on 47 minutes.
Seven minutes later, after Lisette Tammik (FC Flora) gave away possession on the half-way line, Israel launched a quick counter-attack. Talia Sommer broke forward before finding Beck in on the right, who finished neatly past Kork to complete her hat-trick.
There was still time for Estonia to get a consolation goal. With 80 minutes on the clock, Tammik twisted and turned her way past Back on the edge of the Israeli box, before firing a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Fortun Rubin. It finished 4-1 to Israel.
After three wins, one draw and two losses Estonian finished second in their Nations League sub-group with 10 points. Israel, who finished top of the group, secured promotion to League B, while Estonia, along with Kazakhstan and Armenia will continue in League C next time round.
The Netherlands, France, Germany and Spain, who finished top of their groups in League A, will now go on to play in the Nations League final tournament in February.
League C group winners Malta, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Israel and Kosovo are all guaranteed places in League B for the next Women's Nations League campaign. They will be joined by the winners of the play-off matches between League B Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Ukraine, who each face on of the best-placed League C runners-up Latvia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.
Albania, Romania, Greece, Belarus and Slovenia were all relegated from League B to League C.
Editor: Michael Cole