Estonia and Azerbaijan fought out a goalless draw on Wednesday night in Kuressaare as they limbered up for their EURO 2004™ qualifying campaigns in a game short of dramatic incident.
Estonia dominated the first half, with Indrek Zelinski hitting the Azeri crossbar in the 16th minute while Azerbaijan rarely threatened Mart Poom's goal despite long-range efforts from Mahmud Gurbanov and Emin Imamaliyev.
The second half was more even and in the last 20 minutes the visitors started to push forward. The Estonian defence had several problems after centre-back Raio Piiroja left the pitch with a suspected broken nose. Poom blocked an effort from Azerbaijan's Gurban Gurbanov and Samir Aliyev had a good chance to snatch the game in injury time but Poom saved well again.
After the game Vagif Sadigov, coach of Azerbaijan, said: "It is not the first time we have played against the Estonians and always the games turn out to be uncompromising. It was no different this time. Though, Estonians looked very good, specially in the first half. I must say I am satisfied both with the performance of my team and with the result."
Estonia coach Arno Pijpers was so happy with his team: "We played well in the first half, had a compact defence and managed to get our quick passing game together," he said. "We did not create enough chances though."
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