It's amazing, really, what a little bit of a domino effect can have on a tiny team that has never before qualified for either the World Cup or the European Championships. It probably all started when Serbia forfeited their match against Italy last October, giving gli azzurri all three points. Estonia did their best to keep Serbia in contention, losing three in a row before getting frustrated and winning their final three matches.
Still, the playoff spot was Serbia's to lose. They could have clinched it with a win over Italy on Friday, but all they could find was a comical, practically unintentional goal by Branislav Ivanovic. And they could have seen off Slovenia, but instead it was the home side that took the lead, off a strike from distance by Dare Vrsic. Serbia could have pulled themselves back in, but Nemanja Vidic missed a penalty -- although a simple draw would have seen Estonia go through, anyway, based on a superior head to head record.
So congratulations to Estonia, and best of luck on getting through the playoffs and into Euro 2012 proper.