It can't be the most pleasant of experiences to face the press on your 37th birthday and answer why your team is incapable of scoring a goal, but that is exactly what Estonia's Dutch trainer Jelle Goes did yesterday after his team landed in Israel ahead of tomorrow's Euro 2008 Group E qualifier against Israel.
Estonia is second-from-bottom in the group, without a point and without a goal, but Goes, who turned 37 yesterday, said that the team would try to claim its first points against Israel, to which it lost 1-0 at home last September.
"We are missing several first team players but that doesn't mean we won't try and take our first points here," said Goes. "We will try and stop Israel from developing its game even if it is clear to us which team is the favorite."
When asked about his team's goal drought, Estonia striker Andres Oper, who plays his club soccer for Roda of the Netherlands said he hoped the Holy Land would shine its blessings on the team and after four games in Euro 2008 it would finally get on the score sheet.
Goalkeeper Mart Poom has made 111 appearances for Estonia, but is a rare starter for Arsenal of the English Premier League.
Poom said he was troubled by the absence of injured defenders Raio Piroj a and Andrei Stepanov.
"The injuries certainly don't make things any easier for us," said Poom. "Especially against a team like Israel, which has a lot of pace and will try and pressure us from the start."
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