Moldova 1 - 3 Republic of Ireland
Report: Moldova 1-3 Republic of Ireland
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)
Preview: Moldova v Republic of Ireland
Following a crucial three home points against Georgia earlier in the week, thanks to a first international goal for Seamus Coleman, Ireland will look to secure their next win against another eastern European opponent.
Martin O’Neill’s side will return to their home clubs for four weeks after this fixture before regrouping in November for the side's final game of 2016 away to Austria.
For now, all focus is on the task at hand, as O’Neill and players will seek to rely on all of their experience in order to avoid any struggle in Chisinau.
Robbie Brady will be absent as he recovers from concussion sustained against Georgia, and Jeff Hendrick missing also as a result of attaining his second yellow card of the campaign in the same game.
The Moldovans will be eager to improve on their opening two games of the qualifying campaign, a 4-0 loss away to Wales and a 3-0 loss at home to Serbia. Stadionul Zimbru holds 10,400 spectators and will likely be of full capacity, with a vocal home crowd looking to witness their team’s first goal of the tournament.
The home side’s current FIFA ranking of 161st in the world is 130 places behind Ireland, having begun their journey as a separate country in 1991 with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Their most experienced player is 32 year old Victor Golovatenco with 76 caps, and currently plays for Moldovan club side FC Zaria Balti.
Moldova v Republic of Ireland
Sunday, October 9
Kick-Off: 19.45 (Irish time)
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
TV: LIVE on RTE2, Sky Sports 1
- 1 Ilie Cebanu (G)
- 23 Stanislav Namaşco (G)
- 3 Victor Golovatenco
- 4 Cătălin Carp
- 5 Petru Racu
- 6 Alexandru Epureanu
- 9 Eugeniu Cebotaru
- 11 Radu Gînsari
- 13 Maxim Antoniuc
- 18 Vladislav Ivanov
- 19 Maxim Mihaliov
- 20 Eugeniu Sidorenco
- Referee Jakob Kehlet
- Assistant Referee Henrik Larsen
- Assistant Referee Heine Sørensen
- 4th Referee Jens Maae
- Uefa Delegate Sergei Ilyich
- Referee Observer Stephen Lodge
- Carl Monteiro
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
- 4Yellow Card(s)2
- 0Red Card(s)0
- 2Shots on Goal7
- 0Shots Wide6
- 4Shot(s) Blocked4
- 6Total Shots17
- 22Fouls Committed14