Saving face: how the Estonian media reported Ireland's qualification

Ireland’s opponents’ journalists were impressed by their side’s performance and horrified by the price of Irish beer.

Coach Tarmo Rüütli will have been satisfied with his side's performance.
Coach Tarmo Rüütli will have been satisfied with his side's performance.

ONE OF THE headlines on the Delfi Sport site sums up the Estonian media’s feelings regarding the match last night: “Dignified End!”

They report that the Estonian team played a “decent game,” in contrast to their efforts in last Friday’s play-off.

The site also highlights the words of Estonian football president Aivar Pohlak, who gave his view on what distinguishes Ireland from Estonia. He said:

“The game experience is different, they play in higher-level leagues.”

Meanwhile, Postimees has a picture of the Estonian fans in attendance last night, waving their red cards seemingly in protest at referee Viktor Kassai’s performance last Friday, and it’s not the first time they have expressed their dissatisfaction on this matter.

The paper also quotes Estonia player Ragnar Klavan, who seems to be their very own equivalent of Roy Keane, as he dismisses the notion that his side should be happy with their 1-1 draw, pessimistically noting that the team did not qualify for Euro 2012 and therefore, “achieved nothing”.

Ohtuleht focuses in on Irish team’s drinking habits, and indicates, rather contentiously, that the reason they beat Estonia is because “they stopped drinking”.

The paper’s reporter at the game said he didn’t know whether to “laugh or cry,” given that their impressive 1-1 draw was achieved in such meaningless circumstances.

He repeats the mantra adopted over the past few days of it being a “fairytale” for the Estonian team, while also paying tribute to Konstantin Vassiljev, who he claims – not unreasonably – was the game’s “best midfielder”.

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And finally, a column in the paper entitled ‘The Dublin Diary’ praises the significant contingent of Estonian fans who turned out to watch the game, despite the hopeless situation which their team faced, while also seeming somewhat taken aback by the average price of Guinness in Ireland.

No wonder the Irish team ‘stopped drinking’.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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