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Estonia vs. Gibraltar 1-1, le pagelle

Angelo PalmeriComment

Pareiko 6
Nothing to do for him during all the first half. Only once Jeremy Lopez had a go at him, however the diagonal shot went past the far post. In the second half he kept Estonia leading and earned an evaluation as, with one of his super saves on the floor, he prevented Casciaro from equalizing.

Ken, time for another Kallaste in the 'Eesti Koondis'

Ken, time for another Kallaste in the 'Eesti Koondis'

Kallaste 6
Good performance for the Kalju’s left full-back who did his job well down the left flank as Pehrsson asked him. He is already used at Kalju however, it must be said, there was not so much defensive work on that side. Being given another start (it was his fourth cap tonight) it’s an encouraging sign that Pehrsson was well impressed by his domestic performances.
Another step to have another Kallaste in the Estonian national team 20 years after.

Klavan 6,5
Captain Ragnar released the pressure off Oper’s shoulders by scoring the opening goal and put it past the good Perez on a corner kick situation. You can see Pehrsson has worked a lot on the set-pieces as there are fixed movements each of them is doing any time the ball is coming from the corner flag. Klavan is part of this plan and exploited his netting vein acquired at Augsburg (2 goals). Not much work back in the defence and cannot do much if Rähn is not holding Bardon.

Rähn 5,5
Can Estonian Premium Liiga keep a central defender enough competitive for a friendly game against Gibraltar? Considering there is not a big choice in the role after Piiroja retired (?) and Morozov got injured again, he shall battle for a place with Nõmme Kalju’s Mikk Reintam – if in Pehrsson’s plans - and Alo Bärengrub, who probably would deserve a chance once in a while. The mistake on Gibraltar equalizer was grave.

Great debut for Frank Liivak in the Estonian National team

Great debut for Frank Liivak in the Estonian National team

Jääger 6,5
Going to Lierse was without any shadow of doubt the best thing to do as he has regained shape and confidence with a competitive game. He is completely another player, provided the opponent was not the toughest available. Good overlapping entente with Sander Puri on the right flank. He made space to the debutant Frank Liivak <- Liivak 7 Frank entered the pitch with the same confidence of a veteran: he cut the field with a precise long ball for Kallaste and set up for Vunk to shoot from distance. When he had the chance to score on his debut, we could have attended an historical moment. Change of generation and great debut.

Antonov 6
Great chance for him to open the game in the early minutes but Jordan Perez outdid himself. He is fielded on the left in a 4-1-3-2 and tends to move towards the center, his natural position . Overall a good performance from one of the many interesting players of the domestic league.

Mets 6
After the game in Gibraltar, Mets was fielded again as low midfielder in front of the defence. He didn’t do anything remarkably good or bad, however it seems the experiment has failed: he is a central defender and should play as such. As in March when Estonia played in the Rock, he tends to lower himself on the defensive line. Paradoxically, Klavan could play in this role better.

Vassiljev 5,5
Not one of his best displays at the A.LeCoq since we know what ‘Kostja’ can really do anf give on the field. However, it is quite normal as the long Russian season is over and Vassiljev has been on and off injuries and starting XI’s. He will be ready when it matters.

<- Vunk 6,5 After few minutes since his entrance, he was set up by Liivak to shoot from distance. Perez had to outdo himself to avoid the 2-0. He’s more inspired than Vassiljev delivering several good long balls up front. He can definitely return as a protagonist in this national team.

Sander Puri 6
York City FC has released him, however, looking at his performance today, they might have another think about it. Sander has lost his place at YCFC due to injuries, however when he is fit he is still the same battering flanker the A.LeCoq is used to know. Several good initiatives, he is certainly comfortable in the role for a 4-2-3-1  or 4-1-3-2 as tonight. The overlapping with Jääger worked well. In the second half, considering he is out of shape for the 90’, his workrate was really low.

Oper when he was at Dutch club Roda JC

Oper when he was at Dutch club Roda JC

Oper 8
He had immediately two good chances in the early minutes to make fans happy on his farewell day. First, he was unlucky when Jordan Perez deflection reached Antonov instead of himself, later a long ball was simply…too long for someone with little training in one’s legs. He was so unlucky when his header on 23’ minutes was deflected by a pack of Gibraltarian players. Everyone tried to make him score, as Henri Anier did on 27’ minutes serving him in the box. Perez once and again was there denying the last joy by parrying on the ground.
The people of the A.LeCoq pushed him to score his 39th goal until Pehrsson replaces him with Sander Post.
He quits after 134 official games as the third most-capped Estonian international and the defending top-scorer. However, if one star fades away, another one might be born (Liivak).
In everyone’s mind will always stay as a dear memory the brace scored against Russia for the only win ever against the big neighbour.
Vote is 8, as his favourite number.
Head aega Andres!
<- Post  6 The tall man from Viljandi returned to national team football after a while. As in Flora, he made a good supporting job for the midfield and had a good chance on a floating ball in the small box, however Perez was too good tonight.

Henri Anier 7
Henri was in shape and it looks like a shame the season in Scotland is over already. He had a couple of chances in the box and was also very generous in serving Oper in the attempt to make him score. His speed in the box will be a useful weapon for the European Cup campaign. Pehrsson can feel relieved. Replaced by Siim Luts during the interval. <- Luts 5 He was not very convincing in the second forty-five minutes of the game, if he wanted to impress and get a better ranking over others, he definitely did not achieve his intention.

Coach: Magnus Pehrsson 6
He was not very happy with the result, however we are sure he preferred to draw tonight rather than two months ago in Gibraltar on his debut. He goes a bit away from the 4-2-3-1 offering a 4-1-3-2 with a tower (Oper first and Post later) surrounded by a quick striker (Anier first and Luts later). The project is a work-in-progress therefore good to try as many options as possible before the 3-point games will come. Estonia showed an interesting build-up for a little while during the first half, however they weren’t cynical enough to net the 2-0 when the chance came. The experiments will go on at the Baltic Cup and with Iceland and Tadjikistan before the summer break. However, we would quit Mets as a midfielder already.