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09.10.2016 at 21:45 Stadionul Zimbru, Chisinau Attendance:
Moldova 1 - 3 Republic of Ireland
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark) World Cup Qualifier / Prog-match

Igor Bugaiov 45+1 James Mc Clean
Shane Long (2)
James Mc Clean (70)
Opening squads
Darren Randolph
Stephen Ward
Ciaran Clarke
Shane Duffy
Seamus Coleman
Glen Whelan
James Mc Carthy
Wesley Hoolahan
Jon Walters
Shane Long
James Mc Clean
Ilie Cebanu,
Stanislav Namasco,
Victor Golovatenco
Catalin Carp,
Petru Racu,
Alexandru Epureanu,
Eugeniu Cebotaru,
Radu Ginsari,
Maxim Antoniuc,
Vladislav Ivanov,
Maxim Mihailov,
Eugen Sidorenco
Danny Rogers
Ian Lawlor
Cyrus Christie
Alex Pearce
John O'Shea
Paul Mc Shane
Eunan O Kane
Richard Keogh
Callum O Dowda
David Meyler
John Hayes
Adam Rooney
Golovatenco for Armas 36 mins,
Cebotaru for Zasavitchi 61 mins,
Sidorenco for Andronic 83 mins,
Callum O Dowda -> Shane Long (63)
David Meyler -> James Mc Carthy (80)
Eunan O Kane -> Wesley Hoolahan (86)
Yellow cards
Andrei Cojocar,
Alexander Gatcan,
Alenandru Dedov,
Igor Bugaiov
Seamus Coleman
Jon Walters
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report
Ireland’s target of six points in four days was achieved tonight at the Stadionul Zimbru, where Ireland departed the Moldovan capital of Chisinau as victors by three goals to one.

It took less than two minutes for Ireland to signify the objective of the evening, with Shane Long sending Ireland 1-0 up with a calm side footed finish with his right boot. Credit went to Wes Hoolahan as the playmaker, with an incisive pass from the centre to send Long through on goal.

Further attempts on goal quickly followed with a James McClean strike and another Long attempt, this time a header following a dinking cross from the boot of Seamus Coleman. The Moldovan defence, however, was somehow able to get bodies in the way.

Ireland hustled relentlessly throughout the remainder of the opening half for a second goal, but their commanding retention of possession was sustained by the home side.

The Moldovan attempts on goal in the opening half were limited to two. The first, a long distance strike in the 22nd minute, sailed harmlessly past Randolph’s right post. The second, however, a different story, with Igor Bugaev capitalising on a long ball over the top to race in behind Ciaran Clark for the Moldovan’s first goal of their campaign.

The opening minutes of the second half was an exhibition of newly found confidence from the home side. There was urgency about their pressing and individuals were suddenly taking it upon themselves to run at the Irish.

Just after the half hour mark Ireland suffered another blow as goal scorer Long went down holding his hamstring. His replacement, Callum O’Dowda, entered the field for his senior competitive debut.

Ireland managed to regain both their composure and their control of possession following the brief Moldovan pressure. Chances, though, fell in fewer frequencies than in the first half.

But Ireland were not to be perturbed, and they went ahead once more in the 70th minute. A shot from James McCarthy landed at the feet of Jonathan Walters with back to goal. McClean, in the better position, pulled his left foot to strike. Walters moved swiftly out of the way and McClean converted coolly to Calancea’s left.

It wasn’t long before McClean struck again. Coleman drove down the right flank, combined neatly with Hoolahan, and delivered an inch perfect cross to the feet of McClean. The Irish number 11 made no mistake to increase the Irish lead by two.

By no means a straightforward three points for Ireland but warranted nonetheless. Ireland will break now for five weeks before the next away test of the campaign against Austria on Saturday 12th November.

Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, Clark, Duffy, Ward, Walters, Whelan, Hoolahan (O’Kane, 86), McCarthy (Meyler, 81), McClean, Long (O’Dowda, 63).

Moldova: Calancea; Bordian, Posmac, Armas (Golovatenco, 36), Bolohan, Andronic (Sidorenco, 83), Gatcan, Cojocari, Dedov; Zasavitchi (Cebotaru, 61), Bugaev.

Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
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