Match Hub: Estonia vs Cymru
9 October 2021

Match Hub: Estonia vs Cymru


12 October 202111:19am

Kieffer Moore dominates the back pages in Wales this morning after his opening half goal last night proved to be the difference between Cymru and Estonia in Tallinn.

Cymru and the Czech Republic are now tied on 11 points for second place in Group E, but the Czech's have a better goal difference heading into the final round of fixtures next month. However, Cymru have a game in hand, which means that four points against Belarus and Belgium would guarantee the runners-up spot.




11 October 20215:11pm

Rob Page has made three changes to his Cymru starting line-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn this evening.

Harry Wilson, Connor Roberts and Sorba Thomas come into the team while Neco Williams, Joe Morrell and Chris Gunter drop down to the bench. Aaron Ramsey once again captains the side.

Follow @Cymru for live updates throughout the evening and check back here later for all the post-match reaction.

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11 October 202111:57am

Swiss official Sandro Schärer will take charge of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Estonia and Cymru this evening (7.45pm).

The 33-year old has been a FIFA referee since 2015 and regularly takes charge of fixtures in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. In September, Schärer refereed the World Cup qualifier between France and Bosnia and Herzegovina and also officiated in the Nations League last year.

One of Schärer's first international appointments was to take charge of Cymru U17's in the UEFA Elite round fixtures against Russia and Iceland back in March 2015.

Stephane De Almeida and Bekim Zogaj are the assistant referees while Alain Bieri is the fourth official. Fedayi San is the VAR and he will be assisted by Lionel Tschudi. All of the officials are from Switzerland.


11 October 20217:36am

Aaron Ramsey will lead Cymru out against Estonia in Tallinn this evening looking to take another step towards 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (7.45pm). 

"To qualify for a World Cup would be an amazing achievement," said Ramsey on Sunday. "We have been fortunate enough to experience two European Championships. They've been absolutely amazing so it would be a massive dream to hopefully tick off a World Cup."

The Juventus midfielder captained the side in the 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic on Friday night in the absence of Gareth Bale and rounded off a fine individual performance with a superb goal.

"There's a long way to go," he added. "But if we can do that, it would be sort of complete wouldn't it?"

Click here for more from Aaron Ramsey at the BBC Sport Wales website.

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10 October 20213:00pm

Rob Page and his Cymru squad trained earlier today as they prepare to take on Estonia in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on Monday evening (7.45pm).

Following the 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, Cymru currently sit third in Group E but are level on points with the Czech's and have a game in hand over their group rivals. The Czech Republic head to Kazan on Monday to face Belarus.

Here are a few photos from Sunday's training session.

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10 October 20219:54am

Cymru defender Connor Roberts spoke to BBC Sport following the2-2 draw against the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday as his side prepare for the final three games of the campaign.

Rob Page's side take on Estonia in Tallinn on Monday evening before Belarus and group leaders Belgium head to Cardiff next month. "Hopefully it doesn't come down to the last game against Belgium for us to take that second place," said Roberts.

"But it would be better for it to be that way than for us to be out of the running by then. If we have to get a result at home to Belgium, then so be it. We're still in it and we're looking forward to facing Estonia."

Click here for the full interview on the BBC Sport website.

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09 October 20218:41am

There was no surprise to see Cymru dominating the back pages this morning following the 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic in Prague last night.

Goals from captain Aaron Ramsey and Daniel James earned Rob Page's side a share of the points in the crucial Group E qualifier but the side must now quickly focus their attentions to Monday night and the challenge of taking on Estonia in Tallinn.

The intensity of the match means that rest and recovery will be key for Cymru over the course of the weekend, and Page will know that his side will be in for another test having been held to a 0-0 draw by Estonia in Cardiff last month.




09 October 20218:30am

While Cymru and the Czech Republic were playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Prague on Friday night, Estonia earned their first win in Group E with a 2-0 victory over Belarus.

Striker Erik Sorga opened the scoring for the home side just before the hour mark before substitute Sergei Zenjov, the man who replaced Sorga after 69 minutes, added the second deep into injury time to earn his side their first three points of the campaign.

Estonia now take on Cymru in Tallinn on Monday evening while Belarus host the Czech Republic in Kazan. Both games kick-off at 7.45pm. Here's the updated Group E table following Friday's fixtures.

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08 October 20215:07pm

Cymru manager Rob Page has named his starting line-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in Prague this evening (7.45pm).

Chris Gunter starts to make 105th international appearance while Aaron Ramsey captains the side in place of Gareth Bale. Kieffer Moore returns to lead from the front with Daniel James in support.

Follow @Cymru for live updates throughout the evening and check back here later for all the post-match reaction.



08 October 20219:27am

Cymru arrived in Prague last night ahead of the crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic this evening (7.45pm).

Aaron Ramsey will captain the side in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale while manager Rob Page will also be without the services of Ben Davies, David Brooks, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Tom Lockyer. However, Daniel James scored the only goal of the game when the two teams met in Cardiff back in March, and he is expected to play another key role tonight.

Elsewhere in Group E, Estonia host Belarus this evening, while the Czech Republic head to Kazan to face Belarus on Monday as Cymru head to Tallinn to take on Estonia. Group leaders Belgium are not involved in the current round of games as they are competing in the finals of the UEFA Nations League.

Here's the current situation in Group E ahead of tonight's fixtures.



07 October 20214:52pm

Aaron Ramsey will captain Cymru on Friday night as Rob Page's side return to 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying against the Czech Republic in Prague (7.45pm).

"It means everything to me to play for Wales," said Ramsey this week. "I am so proud to represent my country. I have been as frustrated as anybody else over the amount of game I have missed in the past few years."

The 30-year old Juventus midfielder has made 67 appearances for his country since making his debut against Denmark back in November 2008 and has scored 17 goals. 

"I am happy to be back involved," he added. I am looking forward to these two games and to lead the boys out will be that extra bit special. I have experienced it before and I loved every minute of it and I am sure it will be a very proud moment for me and my family."

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07 October 20219:16am

Defender Connor Roberts believes there is enough quality in the Cymru squad to handle the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying double-header against the Czech Republic and Estonia despite captain Gareth Bale being ruled out through injury.

"You can't replace Gareth," said Roberts in a piece by Phil Blanche in the South Wales Echo this morning. "But when he's not here we have to play even more as a team, understand certain players and what they're good at. Gaz hasn't played in the past we've played very well, we've looked a decent team."

Bale will miss the two games through what has been described as a 'significant hamstring tear' and would have made his 100th international appearance in Prague on Friday if he had been available for selection. "It's going to be hard because they've got some unbelievable players who are playing regular in the Premier League," Roberts added.

"But we will keep going and give absolutely everything until the final whistle. It's up to other players to step up and hopefully we can get a tidy result there."



06 October 20214:58pm

Rob Page and his Cymru squad were back on the training ground this morning as preparations for the Group E qualifier against the Czech Republic in Prague continue.

Injuries have already ruled out Rhys Norrington-Davies and Tom Lockyer from the initial squad while Ben Davies and David Brooks have both been forced to withdraw through illness. However, Will Vaulks and Ben Cabango have been brought in as replacements.

Following the match against the Czech Republic on Friday, Cymru will then travel to Tallinn for the return match against Estonia after the two sides played out a 0-0 draw in Cardiff last month. Here a couple of photos from training earlier today.

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06 October 20214:38pm

Deniz Aytekin of Germany will take charge of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between the Czech Republic and Cymru in Prague on Friday evening (7.45pm).

The 43-year old is a familiar face on the international circuit and has already refereed World Cup qualifiers between Israel and Scotland as well as France and Finland this year. Last month, Aytekin took charge of the UEFA Champions League match between FC Sheriff and Shakhtar Donetsk.

One of the most-respected officials in the European game, Aytekin has refereed Bundesliga fixtures involving both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this season, while he previously took charge of Cymru in competitive senior internationals against Denmark and Azerbaijan in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Christian Dietz and Dominik Schaal are the assistant referees while Martin Petersen is the fourth official. Felix Zwayer is the VAR and he will be assisted by Marco Achmüller. All of the officials are from Germany.


06 October 202110:49am

Ben Davies and David Brooks have both withdrawn from the Cymru squad ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Estonia through illness.

The news follows on injuries to Rhys Norrington-Davies and Tom Lockyer as Rob Page prepares for the two crucial Group E fixtures in Prague and Tallinn respectively.

Meanwhile, newcomer Sorba Thomas has been making headlines in Wales this morning as he charmed the media with his excitement over the start of his international career. 



06 October 20216:57am

Sorba Thomas is clearly embracing his first international call-up and the 22-year old couldn't hide his excitement as he spoke to the media on Tuesday.

"Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure it's not all a dream," explained the versatile Huddersfield Town star who was named the Championship Player of the Month for August. "I open the door of my hotel room and I see Aaron Ramsey straight across from me? It's crazy. My mum came down today to see me. You could see by her facial expressions how proud and happy she is."

Released by West Ham United as a teenager, it has been an interesting journey back to the professional game for Thomas, who signed for Huddersfield Town in January having impressed for Boreham Wood in the National League. "Being told you're not good enough is a smack in the face," Thomas explained. "That was the first time I was told I wasn't good enough. I didn't take it well. I didn't really want to play anymore."

However, Thomas rediscovered his passion for the game, and is now ready to take the next step in his professional career by earning his first international cap. "I am buzzing," he added. "I can't wait! I am so excited. To be called up was a dream come true but to put on the jersey and play for Wales will probably be a moment that I will never forget in my life."

Click here to read the full interview with Sorba Thomas on the BBC Sport website.


06 October 20216:11am

There have been four previous meetings between Cymru and the Czech Republic since the break-up of Czechoslovakia, with both nations claiming one victory each in the history of this international fixture.

The first game between the two countries took place in Cardiff back in March 2002 as just over 21,000 fans witnessed a 0-0 friendly draw. However, David Lafata would score twice for the Czech Republic in September 2006 when the nations met for a second time in EURO 2008 qualifying as the home side claimed a 2-1 victory.

The return match in June the following year produced another 0-0 draw, but Daniel James proved to be the hero for Rob Page's side when the teams met back in March as his 82nd minute header (below) separated the two nations and earned a valuable 1-0 victory in the current World Cup qualifying campaign.

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The crucial games keep coming for Cymru as Rob Page prepares his squad for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Czech Republic (8 October) and Estonia (11 October).

Both matches are on the road and you can keep up to date with everything from the Cymru camp here in the live match hub. Make sure to check out this page regularly ahead of the matches. 

For the qualifying story so far, click here to read more.