Republic of Ireland v Estonia Match History
The Republic of Ireland take on Estonia over two legs on Friday and Tuesday in a Euro 2012 Qualification Playoff. GreenScene looks back at the two previous games between the sides.
11th October 2000 – Republic of Ireland 2-0 Estonia
Ireland’s first meeting with the Baltic nation was in the qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Group 2 saw Mick McCarthy’s side drawn against European giants Holland and Portugal with Estonia, Cyprus, and Andorra also coming out of the pot. Following superb away draws in Amsterdam and Lisbon, Ireland’s first home game was against Estonia, who had improved greatly in recent years under the tutelage of Icelandic boss Teitur Thordarson, gaining 11 points in Scotland’s group during Euro 2000 qualifying. However, Thordarson had stepped down and local-based Dutch coach Arno Pijpers took over ahead of World Cup qualification. Pijpers started his international career with an two unconvincing one goal wins over Andorra and a 3-1 loss to Portugal at home. Ireland were clear favourites ahead of the clash, and Mick McCarthy kept faith in the same starting eleven who gained points against Holland and Portugal. It was the first time an Irish manager named the same side in three consecutive games since World Cup Italia 90. Ireland threatened from the outset, with Estonian keeper Mart Poom called into action after just a minute to save a Robbie Keane free kick. After his magnificent performances in the opening two games, captain Roy Keane once again was the talisman in midfield, and wasn’t afraid to have a pop himself, repeatedly testing Poom from distance. On the wing, Kevin Kilbane put in a man of the match performance with his marauding runs, and every time he got the ball, Lansdowne roared in appreciation. Behind him, Ian Harte was also a threat, and after hitting the bar with an early free-kick, he found Niall Quinn with a long ball on 24 minutes, which was held up for Mark Kinsella who came in to score his first goal in a green jersey. Ireland went in at half-time 1-0 up, but it was a comfortable half, and were it not for Poom’s heroics, it could have been much more. Damien Duff came on for Jason McAteer at half-time, and his pace and skill meant that Ireland kept momentum after the break. The second took no time to come, Harte’s corner found Quinn once more, who flicked it on for Richard Dunne to power home from a narrow angle at the back post. Both forwards were unlucky not to score themselves, with Quinn going in search of the one goal that would move him past Frank Stapleton at the top of the Irish international scoring charts. But despite that, Ireland controlled the match from start to finish and stayed in contention for qualification, especially after the earlier shock result in Rotterdam where Portugal beat Holland 2-0.
Republic of Ireland: A. Kelly, Carr, Breen, Dunne, Harte, McAteer, Kinsella, Roy Keane, Kilbane, Robbie Keane, N. Quinn.
Subs: Holland, Foley, Staunton, Duff, Kiely, Finnan, Delap.
Estonia: Poom, Lamslau, Stepanov, Allas, Saviauk, Viikmae, Terekhov, Oper, Anniste, Reim, Zelinski.
Subs: Tohver, Haavistu, Jurisson, Ustritski, Kristal.
Referee: T Hauge (Norway).
6th June 2001 – Estonia 0-2 Republic of Ireland
Wins over group minnows Cyprus and Andorra in early 2001 as well as a Roy Keane-led 1-1 draw with Portugal in Dublin saw Mick McCarthy’s men keep up the qualification pace in the new year. Estonia were very much out of the running, especially after drawing 2-2 with Cyprus. Four days before they took on Ireland in Tallinn, they opened their brand new home ground, the Lilleküla stadium (now the A. Le Coq Arena where Ireland will play tomorrow night) with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands. Ireland were missing both Keanes, which meant Damien Duff partnered Niall Quinn in attack and Matt Holland took over the midfield role. Gary Breen and Kenny Cunningham both missed out through injury, so Richard Dunne lined up beside temporary captain Steve Staunton in defence. The players called upon to replace the regulars did a fantastic job, with Richard Dunne side footing home after just eight minutes when Quinn and Harte linked up once again, this time Quinn laying off for Harte whose cross found Dunne unmarked. The early goal spurred Ireland on, with Damien Duff and Kevin Kilbane looking lively in attack. Estonia attempted to claw back into the game, with Jevgeni Novikov shooting from range, but just before the interval the visitors struck again to but the result beyond doubt. A blocked shot fell to Matt Holland, whose drive from 20 yards rocketed past Kaalma in the Estonian net. The second half was much the same, and Shay Given was rarely called into action, while Damien Duff caused trouble for the Estonian defence. Matt Holland commanded the midfield very well, and performed excellently filling in for Roy Keane. Ireland finished the evening top of the group, but both Holland and Portugal had a game in hand. However, that famous goal from Jason McAteer on September 1st at Lansdowne put an end to Holland’s qualifying hopes, and sealed Ireland’s place in the World Cup playoff with Iran.
Estonia: Martin Kaalma; Erko Saviauk, Andrei Stepanov, Raio Piiroja, Urmas Rooba, Martin Reim, Kert Haavistu, Jevgeni Novikov, Indrek Zelinski, Marko Kristal, Anders Oper.
Republic of Ireland: Shay Given; Stephen Carr, Ian Harte, Richard Dunne, Steve Staunton, Matt Holland, Gary Kelly, Mark Kinsella, Niall Quinn, Damien Duff, Kevin Kilbane.
Referee: Marian Mircea Salomir (Romania)