By Margus Luik
Portugal are the first team to claim one of the 16 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying play-off places after ensuring a top-two finish in Group 3 with a comfortable victory in Estonia.
Having already won their first six matches, the 2004 bronze-medallists knew that three more points today would leave only Russia able to catch them. And against a side without victory in the pool, they easily extended their advantage over the second-placed team to eight points and preserved the competiton's only perfect record.
Any early nerves were settled on 12 minutes when Hugo Viana's corner was headed in at the near post by Edgar Marcelino. Estonia pushed for an equaliser and Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Vale was forced to save from Vladimir Voskoboinikov, Andrei Antonov and Ott Reinumäe.
Marcelino struck again ten minutes into the second half, and three minutes later Filipe Oliveira, on as a substitute for Marcelino for no more than 40 seconds, continued his goalscoring form in the group with his first touch, a thunderous right-footed shot.
On 83 minutes Hugo Almeida headed in Oliveira's cross at the second attempt, having hit the crossbar with his first effort, and substitute Paulo Sérgio completed the scoring seconds later. Estonia substitute Andrei Sidorenkov struck the bar late on.
The top two from each of the eight groups will enter the play-offs in November, and Portugal begin their build up with their next qualifier at home to Luxembourg on 2 September. Estonia will look for an elusive victory against Latvia the same day.