Ireland Vs. Estonia, Euro 2012 Qualifying Playoffs: Preview

Congratulations to Ireland for qualifying for Euro 2012. Granted, they did so by being better than Estonia, which is only a little more impressive than having a better economy than Greece or a better football team than the Indianapolis Colts*. Also Ireland, the Faroe Islands beat Estonia when Estonia fielded eleven men, which is two more than the nine the hosts ended up with last Friday.

*Trying this American football referencing thing. Did I do it right?

That's not to say that Ireland played badly (they were very good) or don't deserve their spot in the summer's finals, but the fact of the matter is that Estonia were and are an awful team and that quickly spoiled any sense of competition in this tie. A 4-0 win away from home dispelled the rest of the mystery pretty quickly, leaving one (and only one) interesting storyline: Robbie Keane refused to return to Los Angeles to prepare for the Galaxy's MLS Cup final against the Houston Dynamo so he could focus on this game. When I think 'good captaining' I think 'pointless gestures', so well done Robbie.

Ireland's team has already been announced, with Roberto Trappatoni making three changes from the side that went all demolishy last Friday: Shay Given; John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Ward; Damien Duff, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews, Stephen Hunt; Kevin Doyle, Robbie Keane.

Ireland vs. Estonia kicks off at 2:45 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3 in the USA. We'll have live coverage of this and every Euro 2012 qualifying match in our Euro 2012 Qualifying Playoffs, Second Legs StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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