The first chant is for him and not for nothing. He has to make the first save of the match as Klavan is in a hurry to anticipate Ilicic on a deep ball and almost makes the finest own goal. Safe save on Ilicic on 29’ minutes when the Fiorentina midfielder goes on his typical foray from right to left and shoots with his left foot.
He was preferred to Jääger for facing the talent of Kampl. Managed well as Katanec gave him a very defensive role to pressure the Estonian back line very high and by overloading Mets zone together with Ilicic on the other side. In second had a bit more of initiative before being replaced by Jääger. -> Jääger 6 in to control Kampl who is far from being the dangerous player seen at Salzburg. Easy job.
Novakovic is not Ibrahimovic, however Igor learnt hard from the mistakes committed in Stockholm. On 58’ minutes he has the great chance to head in the open goal from a corner-kick situation but he doesn’t reach the ball properly as he’s already coming down with the lift.
He is the defence. The captain is caught committing mistakes very seldom. Besides guarding the central part in front of Pareiko, he also covers Kallaste when Brecko and Ilicic are overlapping till the bottom line.
Often forward for one of his forays, he needed a lot of coverage by Klavan as Ilicic and Brecko baked several overlapping that caught him in the middle of nowhere between defense and midfield. In second half has a couple of good initiatives until the bottom. Room for improvement, but in a great night as such we feel bad to give him a bad mark.
He starts composed and calm trying always to do the simpler thing. On 17’ minutes he basically prevents Ilicic from shooting in the box after he went past Klavan. In the first half an hour of game commits far less mistakes than in Stockholm. He didn’t convince in the previous games (all friendly) but at the first three-point worth game, he offered a good performance.
On his first foray earns Estonia’s first set-piece from outside the box. He almost makes Lilleküla collapse when he is about to go on one-on-one against Handanovic after avoiding Samardzic (13’) however his shot is completely off target as disturbed by an dropping opponent, could have been a great way to celebrate the birth of his son. He helps Teniste a lot to cover Kampl and Kurtic overlapping on the left side and as a consequence he is less brilliant when bringing danger. Pehrsson switches him on the left when Kams gets in.
The veteran is in good form and as in Stockholm, works all over the field as Vassiljev would. Maybe he loses a bit of brilliance in the final pass and does not try the finishing as much as he should. However he helps Stevanovic to get earlier to the shower and gift Estonia with a powerplay for 11 minutes plus injury. A standing ovation when he is replace by Purje, deserved -> Purje 7 he is the boogeyman of Slovenia. Condemned them to lose in Ljublian 3 years ago, he does it again in Tallinn. Don’t pronounce this name when you cross the Slovenian border.
People on the stands pick up on him everytime he touches the ball expecting a mistake or a wrong pass. General laughter in first half when he trips on the ball. It is a bit disrespectful towards an Estonian international at his 65th cap. He is probably more precious in the defensive phase rather than in kicking off the build-up.
Great game as a central midfielder as the left-flank typical tasks are forgotten to create critical mass in front of Slovenia’s midfield when not in possession. He fights like a lion and when ties some forays, he creates trouble to the back line. Out for injury on 65’ minutes, he is replaced by Kams. -> Kams 6 sent in for defending, he actually find himself in the middle of the best action when Slovenia are down to 10 man and Estonia are pressuring high. Fresh energies much needed.
Henri Anier 6,5
Henri fights in every part of the Slovenian half and helps covering behind the ball line closing all the spaces to Slovenia trying to build up. Powerful header off-target attempt on 26’ minute. He contributes in making the Slovenian back line tired.
No fear and in with the same line-up and formation presented in Stockholm with Mets in front of the defense. Estonia is very compact, disciplined and dedicated. But it is quite evident he has put his personal tactical expertize as every zone of the field is well covered when not in possession. The goal, although, comes from build-up when Slovenia is down to ten men. Call it ‘Catenaccio in Swedish Sauce’.