Estonian Football Association (EJL) president Aivar Pohlak and injured international Raio Piiroja were unsung heroes as they shovelled snow to ensure that Wednesday's game against Canada went ahead.
Estonia won the friendly 2-0 in Tallinn, but they might not have had the chance to play but for the efforts of a band of volunteers. These toiled to shift snow from the pitch at the capital city's A. Le Coq Arena following two days of snowstorms which had closed roads and caused flights to be cancelled.
Although the EJL had laid a plastic sheet over the pitch to prevent it freezing in the days before the match, the cover ended up under half a metre of snow after a heavy downfall in Estonia, beginning on Tuesday afternoon. Fans and volunteers helped to clear the field of play before kick-off, yet with the snow continuing, Pohlak and Piiroja joined supporters on the pitch at half-time as they shovelled snow off the surface.
Fulham FC's Paul Stalteri may have wished they had not bothered. Having scored the opening goal when Canada beat Estonia 2-1 at the same venue five years ago, he was on target at the wrong end after 59 minutes, beating Kaimar Saag to Oliver Konsa's cross only to head into his own net. With time running out, Urmas Rooba's pass sent Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko clear and the FC Flora forward put the ball past Lars Hirschfeld for Estonia's second.
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