Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Estonia vs. Netherlands: Final score 2-2, Robin van Persie saves Oranje's blushes at the death

The Netherlands almost suffered a huge upset in Estonia after a pair of goals from Konstantin Vassilijev saw the hosts hit back to secure a lead after Arjen Robben had opened the scoring. Robin van Persie was on hand, however, converting a late penalty to secure a draw for the Dutch.

After just two minutes, Holland had probably assumed the game was going to be the expected walk in the park. Robin van Persie showed some fine footwork to tee up Robben, who drifted inside and slammed a fine shot past the Estonia keeper.

Yet Estonia worked hard and, on 20 minutes, had a surprising counter: Vassilijev scored a remarkable goal, nutmegging Stefan de Vrij before slamming an unstoppable finish that left Michel Vorm with absolutely no chance.

Holland did not improve, despite the scare of the equaliser, although they did show more industry. Arjen Robben looked to go the closest, as he tested the Estonian keeper with a pair of trademark efforts twice after being allowed to cut inside, but neither could find the net.

Estonia had only managed three goals in their entire qualifying campaign before tonight, but Vassilijev scored a remarkable second to put the hosts into the lead, beautifully dinking the ball over Vorm to send Tallinn into delight. It was now going to be a tough ask for the Netherlands, who had not got going all game, to win the game.

Yet the visitors could not improve, and it was Vassilijev who twice went close to completing his hat-trick, first almost catching Vorm off his line and later stepping inside to force the Swansea keeper into a fine save with just ten minutes remaining.

Right at the death, Van Persie raced onto a ball over the top and Piiroja hauled him down in the area, receiving a red card and a penalty for his efforts. The Manchester United man dusted himself off to take the penalty, and powered it into the bottom corner, sending Pareiko the wrong way.

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Estonia vs. Netherlands: Final score 2-2, Robin van Persie saves Oranje's blushes at the death

This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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