Estonia v Northern Ireland preview

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Updated: September 5, 2011

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Estonia 4-Northern Ireland 1
93 Mins
90 + 3 It’s basically the last kick of the game and the seal is set on an awful night for Northern Ireland, Kaimar Saag’s rising drive making it 4-1 to Estonia and rubbing salt into Irish wounds. Their qualification hopes in ruins now
90 (+1) Clingan takes the free-kick and Vassiljev heads away.

Three minutes of added time are announced.

90min McQuoid takes on Jaager down the left flank and wins a throw in 25 yards out. NI take and McCann wins a free-kick off Purje 25 yards out on the left.

89min Clingan crosses from 35 yards out on the left into the box but it is too close to Pareiko who gathers.

88min Saag is on for Kink.

87min Kruglov cuts inside from the left flank before trying an effort from 22 yards but it is well over and wide.

86min Hughes wins a free-kick on the halfway line on the left. Clingan takes but Rahn clears the danger from the Estonia box after a scramble.

85min Clingan passes to Brunt 30 yards out in front of goal but his low shot is just wide of Pareiko’s left post.

84min Estonia come again and Vassiljev feeds the ball to Zenjov 20 yards out in front of goal but he scuffs his effort well wide.

83min Vassiljev takes the corner on the left but Baird puts it out for a throw in 15 yards out on the left. Vassiljev takes but NI clear their box.

82min Zenjov wins a free-kick 35 yards out in front of goal off Baird. Vassiljev hits a fantastic effort at goal which Camp has to tip over.

81min NI come again and McCann crosses into the box from 25 yards on the left but it is too close to the keeper who this time catches the ball.

80min Camp takes the free-kick into the box and the keeper misses it but Jaager manages to clear.

79min McQuoid fouls Jaagar for an Estonia free-kick midway in their half. Pareiko takes but Jaagar catches McQuoid for a NI free-kick just inside their half.

77min Kruglov wins a throw in ten yards out on the left off Baird. Estonia take and the ball falls to Zenjoz eight yards out in front of goal who tries an over head effort but it is at Camp who saves.

76min Davis tries to release Brunt into the right side of the box but Pareiko is quickly off his line to gather.

75min McCann tries a volley from 25 yards in front of goal but it is straight at Pareiko who gathers.

74min Lull – the game is scrappy in the middle at present.

72min Baird wins a free-kick on the egde of his box. Camp punts the ball forward but Klavan clears

71min McCann takes the free-kick towards the far post but no one is there to head home and the ball goes harmlessly out for a goal kick.

70min Brunt wins a free-kick 30 yards out to the right of goal.

69min Estonia come again and Vassiljev releases Kink into the right side of the box but McAuley shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.

68min Vassiljev takes the second corner but it is over hit and goes out harmlessy for a goal kick.

67min Vassiljev takes the corner and Baird puts it out for another corner on the left.

67min Zenjov cuts into the left side of the box before shotting from ten yards but it hits Hughes and goes out for a corner on the left.

65 Feeney and McQuoid are on for NI.

64min NI take the throw in but Estonia intercept and feed the ball to Kink 25 yards out on the left but his shot is straight at Camp who gathers.

63min Clingan puts the free-kick into the box but Pareiko punches it out for a throw in 25 yards out on the left.

63 Purje is on for Puri.

63min NI win a free-kick 30 yards out on the left.

61min Kink’s pass from ten yards out on the left is intercepted by Davis who clears

59 GOAL – ZENJOV!!! Vunk passes to Puri 12 yards out whose looping header hits the right post. The ball falls to McAuley who takes one touch and allows Zenjov to steal the ball and slot home from close range. Poor, poor defending.

58 NI win a throw in 25 yards out on the left and McGinn crosses into the box but it is too close to Pareiko who gathers.

57 NI take the second corner and win another on the left. Clingan takes but Klavan clears from the box.

57min NI take the corner and Cathcart wins another corner on the right.

56min NI take the throw in and feed the ball to Healy in the left corner who wins a corner.

55min Vassiljev takes the corner but Brunt heads away at the near post. Davis then wins the ball and NI win a throw in 40 yards out on the left.

54min Kruglov wins a corner on the left off Baird.

54min Zenjov catches Hughes for a NI free-kick on the halfway line on the left. Hughes takes but the ball rolls all the way through to Pareiko to gather.

53 Zenjov is on for Ahjupora.

52min Cathcart wins a free-kick on the halfway line on the left.

50min McCann passes to Healy in the box and the striker goes down under a challenge by the keeper but the ref waves play on. Replays show the keeper caught him and it was a stonewall penalty and NI are harshly done by.

49min Kink is caught by Hughes for an Estonia free-kick on the halfway line. They take but Hughes clears on the edge of his box.

48min Estonia break forwward and feed the ball to Kink 25 yards out on the right but he shoots well over.

47min NI keep good possession but Brunt’s shot from the edge of the box is charged down before Rahn then clears McGinn’s cross from the left.

46min Estonia re-start the game. No changes at the break.

HALF TIME. It’s 2-1 to Estonia here at half time after an action-packed first half. Stay with us for the second period.

45min Kink collects the ball on the edge of the box in front of goal who turns and shoots but his effort is just wide of Camp’s right post. Unlucky!

44min Davis releases McGinn down the right flank who crosses to the unmarked Healy in the box who heads home but McGinn has been given offside so it doesn’t count.

42min Estonia break forward and feed the ball to Kink on the edge of the box to the left of goal who tries to lob Camp but it is a few yards over.

41min Davis almost gets onto a Healy pass into the right side of the box but Klavan clears for a NI throw in ten yards out on the right. They take and feed the ball to McCann on the edge of the box who creates a yard of space for himself before shooting but it is straight at Pareiko who easily gathers.

. .40min OWN GOAL – PIIROJA!!! NI take the free-kick, McAuley flicks on in the bob towards goal and Piiroja inexplicably heads into his own net on from six yards!!! Game on again for NI!!!!

39min Rahn is booked for a late challenge on McCann 35 yards out in front of goal. It is a NI free-kick.

37min McCann tries to cross into the box from 30 yards out on the right but it is over hit and goes out harmlessly for a goal kick.

36min Ahjupera wins a free-kick 40 yards out in front of goal. Kink takes it and tries a low shot but Hughes blocks and NI clear.

34min NI keep good possession before Davis’ pass is intercepted by Klavan on the edge of the box and Estonia clear.

32 minGOAL – KINK!!!! Kink tries a speculative effort from 35 yards ont he right but Camp makes a complete hash of it with the dipping ball going through his legs. NI face a mountain to climb now.

30min Estonia come again and Ahjupera turns and shoots on the edge of the box but he is given offside.

29min GOAL – VUNK!!!!! Estonia break forward and Kruglov crosses from eight yards out on the left but the ball takes a deflection off McAuley in the box to Vunk on the edge of the box and he plants a sweet low effort into the right bottom corner. Great strike!!

27min McCann puts the corner into the box but Pareiko gathers at the second attempt.

26min NI take the throw in and punt the ball forward and Healy wins a throw in ten yards out on the right off Piiroja. NI take the throw in and Baird crosses into the box but Vassiljev heads out for a corner on the right.

25min Estonia win a throw in 35 yards out on the left off McGinn. They take and win another throw in in a similar position before NI win their own throw in in a similar position.

24min NI take the throw in and Cathcart passes to McGinn on the edge of the box in front of goal but he puts his shot way over under pressure.

23min McCann’s free-kick is straight at the wall. NI keep possession before Davis crosses from the right into the box but Rahn partially clears. NI come again but McGinn’s cross from the left is cleared by Piiroja for a NI throw in 30 yards out on the left.

22min McGinn is fouled for a NI free-kick 25 yards out to the right of goal.

21min Ahjupera heads on a long ball from Vunk into the box but Camp is quickly off his line to gather ahead of the on-rushing Kink.

20min Kink tries a 30 yard effort from the left but his shot is well over.

19min NI win a free-kick midway in their own half after Kink is given offside. Camp kicks the ball forward but Piiroja heads away on the edge of the box and Estonia clear.

18mins NI break forward but can not find a way through before keeping possession and passing all the way back to Camp.

17mins McCann catches Puri for a free-kick near the halfway line. Estonia take and win a throw in 35 yards out on the right. They take and keep possession before Baird intercepts a pass towards Kruglov on the left flank and clears.

16mins Kink tries to release Ahjupera into the box down the centre but Camp is quickly off his line to gather.

15mins The game is scrappy in the middle at present with neither side keeping possession.

13mins Estonia come again and Kruglov’s cross from 25 yards out on the left is over hit and goes out harmlessly for a NI goal kick.

12min Ahjupera crosses from the left into the box but NI clear.

10min NI press the Estonia box before McGinn and then Healy crosses from the right into the both but Pareiko eventually gathers.

8min Estonia win a free-kick 30 yards out on the left. They take but NI clear. Estonia come again but Kruglov’s header from the left into the box is easily gathered by Camp.

7min Estonia feed the free-kick towards Ahjupera in the box who goes down under a challenge off Cathcart but the ref rightly waves play on as he went down too easily.

7min Kink wins a free-kick 40 yards out off McAuley.

6min NI take the throw in and feed the ball to Brunt but his crossfield pass to the left flank is mis-hit and goes out for an Estonia throw in.

5min Clingan takes the free-kick and Jaager heads the ball out for a NI throw in ten yards out on the left. NI take and win a throw in 35 yards out on the right.

4min NI come again and Brunt wins a free-kick 20 yards out on the left off Jaager.

4min NI win a throw in 35 yards out on the right. They take but Davis puts mis-hits a pass and Estonia win a throw in in a similar position.

3min Estonia win a throw in 30 yards out on the left. They take but Klavan puts the ball out for a NI goal kick.

2min No chances yet as both sides find their feet.

1min NI get the game underway.

Greetings from the eastern baltic city of Taillin as Northern Ireland take on estonia in a must win game for the wee country.
Estonia: Pareiko, Jaager, Rahn, Piiroja, Klavan, Puri, Vunk, Vassiljev, Kink, Kruglov, Ahjupera.

Subs: Kotenko, Zenjov, Purje, Palatu, Saag, Stepanov, Teniste.

Northern Ireland: Camp, Hughes, Cathcart, Baird, McAuley, Clingan, Davis, Brunt, McCann, McGinn, Healy.

Subs: Taylor, McGivern, Feeney, Little, Carson, McQuoid, Gorman.

Referee: Daniel Stalhammar (Sweden).

Nigel Worthington’s Northern Ireland side travel to Estonia not only in a desperate need of three points but also for reinforcements with injury and suspension depleting the former Norwich manager’s side.

A 1-0 loss at home to Serbia all has made their qualifying task for the EURO 2012 all the more difficult although Worthington will be somewhat indebted to his Estonian counterpart Tarmo Rüütli after they secured a surprise away win at 2nd place Slovenia to open up the race for the runner’s up spot.

That win saw Tuesday’s host leapfrog above the Northern Irish, however they have played a game more. Serbia moved level with Slovenia thanks to their win in Windsor Park. It’s all very tight and as things stand just two points separating second place from fifth and with some big games coming up none of the sides in the running will be discounting their chances.

Despite the odds being currently stacked against his side, the Worthington was quiet rightly refusing to give up the fight just yet “Of course it’s difficult, but when you’re in football you have to be positive,” he said. “If you’re not there’s no point carrying on. “We have three games to go; we have to get the players back up and ready to run. We’ll have a real good go on Tuesday.”

While the home side will be confident heading into the clash, history is one thing that is on Northern Ireland’s side and in two previous meetings with the Estonian’s they have yet to lose and yet to concede a goal.

Recent Form:

Worthington’s side have only won one of their last 12 away games; a 1-0 win in Slovenia back in September 2010 and have only won two of their last 21 internationals in all competitions.

Last 5 games: LWLLD

Estonia meanwhile have only lost two of their last 11 home games in all competitions and they ended a run of five successive defeats without scoring by beating Slovenia 2-1 in their last qualifier on Friday.

Last 5 games: WLLLL

Team News:

Worthington he has called up Ipswich midfielder Andrew Little and Ranger’s Utility player Josh Carson from the Under-21s as he combats the loss of Kyle Lafferty and Paddy McCourt who both miss out with calf problems.

Neither of those two players featured in the 1-0 loss to Serbia, a game that saw the North woe’s compounded as Evans brothers, Jonny and Corry, were both yellow carded and miss this game.

Sammy Clingan is suffering from a virus and misses out, although the player has joined up with the Northern Ireland squad that travelled to Estonia.

Key Matchup:

Konstantin Vassiljev v Lee Camp

Konstantin Vassiljev, is an attacking midfielder who plays for Amkar Prem in Russia and is the form player for the Estonian’s at present having scored five goals in Estonia’s last five home games combined.
Vassiljev will come up against another form player, Lee Camp. The Nottingham Forest keeper made a series of important saves and walked away with the man-of-the-match award against Serbia.

Did you know? Despite being Northern Ireland’s record goal scorer with 35 goals, David Healy has not found the net in three years.

Odds: (www.paddypower.com)
Home win 11/8
Draw 9/4
Away win 2/1

Prediction: Estonia have never beaten Northern Ireland and will never have a better chance to do so. Worthington’s side are missing some key players for what is a vital clash however you get the feeling that Northern Ireland work well when the chips are down. The players picked will be keen to atone for their defeat to Serbia and as such I think they will keep their hopes alive with a draw.

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