Estonia beats Northern Irish 2-1 in Euro qualifier

BY foxsports • October 8, 2011

Konstantin Vassiljev scored twice in the final 13 minutes as Estonia rallied to beat Northern Ireland 2-1 away on Friday and keep alive its hopes of finishing second in European Championship qualifying Group C.

Vassiljev converted a penalty in the 77th minute after being fouled by Craig Cathcart just inside the area, before smashing a superb 30-yard (meter) shot into the top corner seven minutes later to clinch the win.

Estonia moved into second place in the group, a point above Serbia having played all of its 10 qualifying matches. Serbia can climb back above Estonia if it beats Slovenia away on Tuesday.

Steven Davis, playing in his 50th international match, put Northern Ireland in front in the 22nd minute at Windsor Park but the defeat ended the hosts' slim mathematical hopes of finishing second behind group winner Italy.

''I thought in the first half we played exceptionally well, and they played particularly well in the second,'' Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington said.

''It's hugely disappointing but we'll have to bounce back. I can't fault the players for their commitment and attitude. I don't think there's (much) else we could have done.''

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Lineups:

Northern Ireland: Lee Camp, Lee Hodson, Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Chris Baird, Sammy Clingan (Corry Evans, 32), Pat McCourt, Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty (Warren Feeney, 69), Grant McCann (David Healy, 83), Chris Brunt.

Estonia: Sergei Pareiko, Raio Piiroja, Dmitri Kruglov, Aleksandr Dmitrijev, Sander Puri (Ats Purje, 57), Tarmo Kink (Konstantin Vassiljev, 65), Martin Vunk, Ragnar Klavan, Enar Jaager, Jarmo Ahjupera (Sergei Zenjov, 46), Andrei Stepanov.


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