Estonia beats Canada in snowstorm soccer
The weather outside was frightful, and so was the final result for Canada.
The Canadian men's soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision to Estonia Wednesday in an exhibition match played out in a brutal snowstorm in Tallinn.
Under normal circumstances, a loss to Estonia, ranked No. 129 in the world by FIFA, would count as a major source of embarrassment for Canada (No. 62), but Wednesday's game was anything but normal. Snow poured down on the field throughout the entire game, leading to very slippery conditions and making it virtually impossible for players to make accurate passes and maintain possession.
The downpour was so bad that groundskeepers tried to clear the field of the dreaded white stuff prior to the kickoff, but to no avail — as mounds were piled up on the sidelines, more snow continued to fall down and covered the field in a white blanket.
After a goalless first half, Estonia broke the deadlock in the 60th minute when it scored an own-goal. Paul Stalteri failed to properly deal with an Estonian cross into the box delivered from the right wing, as the ball went off the Canadian defender's shoulder and into the net past goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld.
The Canadians tried to press for the equalizer, but Estonia defended its lead and then added a second goal with a minute left in regulation time when Vjatseslav Zahovaiko beat the offside trap and then rounded Hirschfeld before slotting the ball home.
Canada lost 2-1 to Estonia in Tallinn on March 29, 2003, in the only other meeting between these two countries.
Canada's next friendly is against Panama on June 6 in Panama City. That game will act as a tune-up for Canada, who plays Saint Vincent & the Grenadines nine days later in its first qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.