Margus Reinsalu, Estonian entrepreneur and owner of KC Grupp was among the spectators of the recent (August 2009) match between Estonia and Brazil. Lead by Luis Fabiano, five-time world champion Brazil won with a score of 0:1. Despite the team's loss, Reinsalu believes his home team's brave play is what has given the game so much attention all over the world.
After the game, the head coach of the Estonian national football team, Tarmo Rüütli, said the opponents were not ready for such a hard battle. "It was the same as recently with Portugal," Rüütli says. "Brazil was not ready that Estonia could be a worthy competition. But later everyone could see that they had to give their best."
Physical approach was implemented by both sides as also visible from the stats. The home team was booked three times and one player was sent off. Brazil received six bookings by the referee Martin Ingarsson.
Although Estonia scored no goals, the head coach found that 0:1 defeat was not entirely negative because it was a worthy battle against the five-time world champion, and believed that the possible goal could have come from set pieces. "You have to get a shot on target to have a chance to score. There was a period during which the offence was not found by passes from others," he pointed to the starting forward line of Tarmo Kink - Sergei Zenjov.
The best way to describe the post-game mood is to quote Raio Piiroja, the captain of the team: "Perhaps it is not suitable to congratulate us after the defeat, let us better congratulate the Estonian football for its hundredth anniversary." He considered his team's performance satisfactory. "We looked okay on the pitch, never fell back to panic defending and also did not leave the game too open," Piiroja says.
Most of Piiroja's praise was directed to Sander Puri, who he believed really stood out. The incredible trick performed by Puri on the 56th minute - robbing the ball from Kaka himself and fooling a couple of other Brazilians - will probably be remembered for many years, Reinsalu says.
The youngster himself, yet satisfied with his own performance, remained modest, describing the situation as just a wish to join the attack as a possibility arose: "Brazil gave us room to play as it was known that they would not do too much running without the ball. We could hold the ball well and also create opportunities of our own."
The defender Enar Jääger thought that the opposition of this calibre added a lot and offered a possibility to watch and learn how things were done at the top level.
Yet Brazilians themselves confessed that they had difficulties managing their opponents' physical approach to the game. In an interview with EJL-s Web TV, the goal scorer, Luis Fabiano, admitted the game, indeed, was rough with lots of body contact and fight. "Estonia was quite an opponent," said Lúcio, a central defender. "The way Estonia played was very physical and we had difficulties coping."
Dunga, the coach of the Brazilian national team, described Estonia as a team with a strong presence in the air and was satisfied with the marginal victory.
Margus Reinsalu is confident that the game has left an excellent impression, despite no goals scored against Brazil: "It was a strong battle given to the five-time world champion and the scoreline speaks of itself."
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