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Ireland the best possible draw for Estonia

Published: Thursday 13 October 2011, 15.46CET
Estonia boss Tarmo Rüütli conceded the Republic of Ireland had been his preferred draw for the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs with Giovanni Trapattoni well aware of his side's tricky task.
Ireland the best possible draw for Estonia
Estonia are pleased to have been drawn against Ireland ©Getty Images
 
Published: Thursday 13 October 2011, 15.46CET

Ireland the best possible draw for Estonia

Estonia boss Tarmo Rüütli conceded the Republic of Ireland had been his preferred draw for the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs with Giovanni Trapattoni well aware of his side's tricky task.

Estonia will take on the Republic of Ireland in their first play-off for a major finals tournament, with Giovanni Trapattoni's side hoping to improve on a shaky record in such ties and book a place at UEFA EURO 2012.

I won't deny the fact that we wanted to face Ireland more than the others. Maybe the experience of our victories against Northern Ireland will help us. Both teams have the same British style of football
Tarmo Rüütli
We should not underestimate our opponents, or any team, including Estonia; to have made it through to the play-offs, they must have quality and mental fortitude
Giovanni Trapattoni

Tarmo Rüütli, Estonia coach
I don't think the Republic of Ireland were the easiest of our potential opponents. All the teams at this stage are strong and they proved it during the group stage. However, I won't deny the fact that we wanted to face Ireland more than the others. Maybe the experience of our victories against Northern Ireland will help us. Both teams have the same British style of football. Everybody has a chance, there's no doubt about it.

Giovanni Trapattoni, Ireland coach
It is extremely positive for Ireland that we will play the first leg away. We should not underestimate our opponents, or any team, including Estonia; to have made it through to the play-offs, they must have quality and mental fortitude. Our build-up to this stage of the competition has shown us the importance of organisation, attention to detail and self-belief. That will be vitally important to us as we prepare for these games in November.

Play-off records
Estonia

none

Republic of Ireland
EURO '96

Netherlands 2-0 Republic of Ireland

1998 FIFA World Cup
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Belgium
Belgium 2-1 Republic of Ireland

UEFA EURO 2000
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Turkey
Turkey 0-0 Republic of Ireland (Turkey win on away goals)

2002 FIFA World Cup
Republic of Ireland 2-0 Iran
Iran 1-0 Republic of Ireland

2010 FIFA World Cup
Republic of Ireland 0-1 France
France 1-1 Republic of Ireland (aet)

Previous meetings
The Republic of Ireland beat Estonia 2-0 in both the countries' previous encounters, in qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Mark Kinsella (25) and Gary Breen (51) scored as Mick McCarthy's Ireland beat Rüütli's Estonia in Dublin in their first meeting.

The teams for that game on 11 October 2000 were:
Ireland: Alan Kelly, Stephen Carr, Ian Harte, Richard Dunne*, Gary Breen, Roy Keane, McAteer (Damien Duff 45), Mark Kinsella, Niall Quinn, Robbie Keane* (Dominic Foley 88), Kevin Kilbane* (Steve Finnan 88).

Estonia: Mart Poom, Marek Lemsalu, Andrei Stepanov*, Teet Allas, Erkko Saviauk, Kristen Vikmae (Dimitri Ustritski 79), Sergei Terekhov, Andres Oper*, Aivar Anniste, Martin Reim, Indrek Zelinski (Kert Haavitsu 79).

Richard Dunne (8) and Matt Holland (38) scored the goals in the return fixture in Tallinn, with Rüütli having been replaced as coach by Dutchman Arno Pijpers.

The teams for that game on 6 June 2001 were:
Estonia: Martin Kaalma, Erkko Saviauk, Andrei Stepanov*, Raio Piiroja, Urmes Rooba (Teet Allas 69), Martin Reim, Kert Haavitsu (Sergei Terekhov 59), Jevgeni Novikov (Dimitri Ustritski 70), Indrek Zelinski, Marko Kristal, Andres Oper*.

Ireland: Shay Given*, Stephen Carr, Ian Harte, Richard Dunne*, Steve Staunton, Matt Holland, Gary Kelly, Mark Kinsella, Niall Quinn (Gary Doherty 36), Damien Duff* (Andy O'Brien 88), Kevin Kilbane*.

Eight games have been played between Irish and Estonian clubs in UEFA competitition, with the Irish side boasting the record W4 D3 L1. The champions of the two nations met in this season's UEFA Champions League second qualifying round: Shamrock Rovers FC got the better of FC Flora Tallinn, winning 1-0 in Dublin and drawing 0-0 in Estonia.

*players featured in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.

Last updated: 11/06/12 2.03CET

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