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

Ian Walton

The Netherlands almost suffered a shock defeat in Estonia as a Konstantin Vassilijev brace saw Estonia hit back after Arjen Robben's opener, but Robin van Persie scored a late penalty to salvage a draw.

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.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter | Like SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Full coverage of UEFA World Cup qualifying

England aren’t suited to beautiful football

Let’s stop making fun of Everton’s management

Toronto FC fires Kevin Payne

Ozil gives Arsenal a dash of much needed quality

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.