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Estonia late show raises curtain in style

Estonia 2-1 Faroe Islands
UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying kicked off in thrilling fashion in Tallinn as Estonia struck twice in added time to secure an unlikely victory.

Kaimar Saag scores the equaliser for Estonia
Kaimar Saag scores the equaliser for Estonia ©Getty Images

Added-time goals from Kaimar Saag and Raio Piiroja ensured the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign kicked off in thrilling fashion as Estonia came from a goal down to defeat the Faroe Islands in the competition's opening match in Tallinn.

Jóan Edmundsson scored the first goal on the road to Poland and Ukraine after 28 minutes and the Faroe Islands looked on course for a famous win in Group C after defending that lead for over an hour. Estonia finally found a way through in the first minute of added time when Saag volleyed in, and they were celebrating an unlikely victory two minutes later when captain Piiroja touched Enar Jääger's free-kick past Gunnar Nielsen and into the Faroese goal.

"I wouldn't like to be in Brian Kerr's shoes now," said Estonia coach Tarmo Rüütli. "It's hard to believe but I was kind of calm even after we conceded and couldn't score." That was largely down to Faroese goalkeeper Nielsen. Estonia pressed from the start and Andres Oper shot wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper who, a minute later, turned Tarmo Kink's shot over the bar.

The Faroe Islands went ahead against the run of play shortly before the half-hour mark when Edmundsson directed Fródji Benjaminsen's drilled pass to the left of Sergei Pareiko from the edge of the area. The first goal of UEFA EURO 2012, Estonia were soon in search of the second. Nielsen saved smartly from Oper and Kink either side of half-time before keeping out Sander Puri's 63rd-minute drive. Nielsen was beaten six minutes from time only for Konstantin Vassiljev's shot to bounce back off the post.

With time running out Estonia finally scored when Sander Post picked out fellow substitute Saag to fire home, and an unprobable victory was assured when centre-back Piiroja turned in Jääger's free-kick from close range.

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