A second half free-kick from Konstantin Vassiljev secured Estonia a deserved 1-0 win over Gibraltar in a cold and miserable night in the Victoria Stadium.
Gibraltar looked to use the very windy conditions to their advantage early on, the Estonian defence misjudged the flight of the ball which led to Tjay De Barr see more of the ball.
The Gib fans made themselves known to the referee early on as Tjay De Barr latched onto a poor back-pass from Gert Kams, beat the goalkeeper to the ball and was wiped out in the process – would have probably been a red card in a competitive game but the referee showed a yellow.
Liam Walker took the resulting free-kick and hit the crossbar. A few minutes later, Estonia had a free-kick of their own which Brent Lepistu got on the end of and directed a shot towards goal which Chino saved.
Just before the 20th minute, Gibraltar had a good chance to take the lead as Liam Walker played Tjay De Barr on goal but the 19-year old’s shot was saved by Aksalu.
A good spell from Estonia saw Rauno Oliver Roosnupp’s shot hit the crossbar after the midfielder found himself with some space at the back post. Three minutes later, Sergei Zenjov cut inside from the right flank and curled a shot which looked to have had Chino beat but the crossbar came to the rescue.
The visitors were forced into a change just before the break as Nikita Baranov replaced the injured Gert Kams – little action after that and the referee blew for half-time with the score goalless.
Louie Annesley replaced Alain Pons at half-time as Gibraltar got the second half underway and three minutes later were forced to make another as Aymen Mouelhi replaced the injured Joseph Chipolina.
The Europa pair worked well again as Liam Walker played a through ball to Tjay De Barr whose low driven cross was nearly hit into his own net by Nikita Baranov.
Estonia broke the deadlock on the 53rd minute as captain Konstantin Vassiljev scored direct from a free-kick. Just after the hour mark Julio made two more change with Reece Styche & Adam Priestly replacing Lee Casciaro and Anthony Hernandez.
Gibraltar’s fifth change saw Jamie Coombes replace Anthony Bardon as the formation moved to a 4-2-4 with 20 minutes remaining and trailing 1-0. Reece Styche had the ball in the back of the net in the 82nd minute but the goal was disallowed for offside, much to the frustration of the Gibraltar fans.
Ethan Jolley made his senior debut near the end as the visitors saw the game out and walk away with a deserved 1-0 win.