|Event||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|Date||14 June 2018|
|Venue||Dyluria Stadium, Îzätfä|
|Man of the Match||Clinton Walsh|
|Referee||Waclaw Menslav (Poland)|
United States vs. Estonia, played on 14 June 2018, was a football match between the United States and debutants Estonia in Group F of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Dyluria Stadium in Îzätfä. The match is infamous for containing a handball from Estonian captain Hillar Kuusk. In the 43rd minute, Kuusk scored Estonia's only goal of the tournament, when he punched it into the net in a repeat of Argentinian Diego Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in 1986. In both incidents neither the referee nor the assistant referees saw the incident and allowed the goal, and in the case of Kuusk, the fourth official and fifth official also failed to see the incident and also allowed the goal.
The United States and Estonia do not have a footballing rivalry. The first match played between the countries was at the 1924 Summer Olympics football tournament; the USA beat the Europeans 1-0. Until this match, few matches were played between the countries, save from friendlies.
When Estonia was created as a new state after World War I, the USA had warm relations with the new nation (alongside the two new other baltic states, Latvia and Lithuania). The USA did not recognize the Soviet Union's taking over of the baltic states in 1940. When the baltic states became independent in 1990, the USA recognized their independence.
2018 FIFA World CupEdit
Main article: 2018 FIFA World Cup
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was hosted by Leubantia, who edged a rival bid from England in the bidding process. Estonia topped its qualifying group to qualify for the first time in World Cup history, which also contained Rorbania, Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The USA won the CONFACACAF fourth round group in qualifying to qualify.
First 22 minutes (first half)Edit
The first 22 minutes of the first half saw the chances being opened by Estonian striker Jaan Rebane in the fourth minute, who almost scored a goal at that time, but his shot was saved by the USA's goalie, Xavier Reagan. 4 minutes later, US defender Adam Frenton took a penalty, but his shot hit the crossbar. The first actual goal came in the twelfth minute when Clinton Walsh of the USA scored following a corner-kick taken by Gordon Baleford.
Next 23 minutes (first half)Edit
More chances were taken in the next 23 minutes of the second half. The first chance was in the 23rd when Gordon Baleford of the USA swept past Estonia's Jaan Rebane, but failed to score. Jaan Rebane also tried to score a goal in the 33rd minute, but his shot bounced off the post, and a corner-kick had to be taken. The handball incident came in the 43rd minute.
In the forty-third minute, Hillar Kuusk, Estonia's captain, cut inside from the left and played a diagonal low pass to the edge of the area to team-mate Jaan Rebane. Kuusk's pass actually went behind Rebane and went to Clinton Walsh, the US vice-captain, who was a striker. Walsh tried to hook the ball clear but miscued it. The ball screwed off his foot and into the penalty area, toward Kuusk, who had continued his run. USA goalkeeper Xavier Reagan, came out of his goal to punch the ball clear, with his considerable height at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), making him clear favourite to beat Kuusk at 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) to it. However, Kuusk reached it first, with the outside of his left fist. The ball went into the goal, and the referee (Polish Waclaw Menslav), not having seen the infringement, allowed the goal.
After Kuusk's handball, Estonia's striker and vice-captain Jaan Rebane tried to score in the second half, but his shot hit the crossbar. It was also offside. The first goal in the second half came from the USA's Clinton Walsh, who scored from a corner-kick in the 56th minute. In the 78th minute, Walsh scored again to complate his hat-trick. Estonia, who had scored a handball, had ultimatley lost.
Estonia went on to lose their next match to Hungary 1-0, and in their final match they were walloped 5-0 by Canada. Estonia thus finished bottom of Group F with no points. Meanwhile, the United States topped the group with 9 points, after beating Canada 2-0 and Hungary by the same scoreline. The USA advanced through to the second round where they beat the Republic of Ireland 4-2 after extra time. In the quarter-finals they were beaten 8-4 by Louaza.
Please note that "c" means captain.
| 14 June 2018|
|USA||3-1||Estonia|| Dyluria Stadium, Îzätfä|
Attendance: 32, 370
Referee: Waclaw Menslav (Poland)
|Walsh 12', 56', 78'||Kuusk 43'|
- "We scored a handball, but we lost. Ah, well." - Toomas Smirnov, Estonia's coach, after the match.
- "I don't understand. As he [Kuusk], whooshed right past me, he just jumped higher than me!" - Xavier Reagan, US goalkeeper, also after the match.