WC Qualifier: Moldova v Ireland

Martin O'Neill's men are in Chisinau looking to make it two wins from two in the international break

Patrick Madden Sun, Oct 9
LIVE: WC Qualifier: Moldova v Ireland

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  • Good evening!

    Welcome to our coverage of Ireland's clash with Moldova in Chisinau.

    Martin O'Neill's men are looking to make it two from two in the international break following Thursday night's agricultural win over Georgia in Dublin.

    While that game was far from a thriller it provided a priceless three points, and the result now looks significant after the Georgians held Wales to a 1-1 draw in Cardiff moments ago.

    We'll be bringing you all of the action from the Zimbru Stadium - what better way to see out the weekend?

    Come on!


    IRELAND: Darren Randolph, Seamus Coleman (C), Ciaran Clark, Glenn Whelan, Shane Duffy, James McCarthy, Shane Long, James McClean, Wes Hoolahan, Stephen Ward, Jon Walters

    MOLDOVA: Nicolae Calancea, Igor Armaş, Andrei Cojocari, Alexandru Gaţcan (C), Alexandru Dedov, Vitalie Bordian, Veaceslav Posmac, Vadim Bolohan, Gheorghe Andronic, Igor Bugaev, Eugen Zasaviţchi

  • Jeff Hendrick's one-game suspension and Robbie Brady's concussion have forced O'Neill into two changes tonight, with Wes Hoolahan and Glenn Whelan coming into the starting XI.

    Despite the circimstances Hoolahan's inclusion will be a welcome one, and he can provide some of the attacking guile which was sorely missing on Thursday, while Whelan's selection might afford McCarthy a freer midfield role.

    Aside from that Ireland are unchanged, and O'Neill has kept faith with the new centre half pairing of Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy.

  • Moldova have endure a pretty miserable start to their qualifying campaign, getting pumped 4-0 by Wales and 3-0 by Serbia in their two opening fixtures. Igor Dobrovolski has made five changes tonight in a bid to stop the rot, with number one Ilie Cebanu dropped and Nicolae Calancea taking over in goal.

    It was the lacklustre manner of Ireland's display on Thursday which was most concerning, and O'Neill will hope to see a greater intensity from his side tonight. That said, three points is three points, and even the scrappiest, ugliest of wins would put Ireland in a strong position in group D.

  • Nearly 1,000 Irish fans have made the trip to Chisinau tonight, that's some effort.
  • The teams are in the tunnel!
  • Time for the anthems - music tonight provided by the band of the Ministry of the Interior. Who else?
  • Referee tonight is Jakob Kehlet of Denmark. Apparently his sister is a champion ballroom dancer.
  • Right then, time for the first ever meeting between Ireland and Moldova.


  • 1 min: Dedov has it on the left and shoots straight at Coleman before putting pressure on the Ireland skipper, who manages to draw the foul.


  • Hoolahan's first involvement is a magic one. McClean lays the ball off for the Norwich City man and he weights a perfect ball into the path of Long, who opens his body up and places it first time into the far corner. Not a bad start.


  • 5 min: Nearly another for Ireland, McClean's drilled low cross is just about cleared with green shirts flooding the box. Real sense of purpose about Ireland in the early stages.
  • 7 min: Duffy's long angled free kick is won in the air by Walters and a bit of Irish head-tennis nearly sees it drop for Long in the box. Moldova break down the right through Bugaev but his cross is poor, and then Gatcan's ball back across sails out of play.
  • 9 min: Long flicks it on for Hoolahan but he has no runners in front of him and gets pick pocketed.  
  • 11 min: Even with technically superior footballers on the pitch Ireland are pumping the ball long. There is a markedly higher intensity in their performance thus far though.
  • 12 min: Excellent from Hoolahan, making the space to turn inside and find Walters who lays it out to Coleman whose cross is turned away. The ball comes back into the box and McClean scuffs a first-time effort sending it across goal and wide.
  • Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic has given Serbia a 1-0 lead over Austria in the night's other group D clash.
  • 17 min: Ireland looking settled on the ball and well in control. Lionel Coleman gets the ball on the right and skins one before chipping it into the box from the byline but Long's header is tame.
  • 19 min: Lovely play from Hoolahan and Coleman who gets to the byline again and his cross is cleared for the game's first corner kick.
  • 20 min: Duffy rises to meet a deep corner but he was using Posmac as a climbing frame and gets penalised.
  • Austria have levelled things up in Belgrade. A draw there would be a ncie result.
  • 23 min: Coleman is a constant outlet for Ireland on the right and Hoolahan is picking him out at will. Another excellent ball plays in the Ireland skipper but he's just offside.
  • 26 min: First sustained spell of possession for Moldova in the Irish final third but Ireland are set up well and drive them all the way back.
  • Serbia back in the lead thanks to another from Mitrovic.
  • 28 min: Bordian gets in on the right and has a rare chance to get it into the box but his cross sails out for a goal kick.  
  • 29 min: Patient build-up on the edge of the Moldovan box with Hoolahan pulling the strings. He dummies and pulls the ball back for Whelan to thrash at one, the ball skewing high and wide.
  • 31 min: Concern over Whelan after he gets a knock to the head but he's fine to continue.
  • 34 min: Long steals in ahead of Armas and wins a free kick on the edge of the box. The Moldovan defender has collapsed in a heap, looks like he jarred his knee pretty badly and he's being stretchered off.
  • 36 min: The Moldovan medical team weren't messing around there. He'd been rolling around for barely 10 seconds by the time he was being carted off.

    Hoolahan lays the free kick off to Whelan whose shot is blocked.

  • 37 min: Long wins another free kick after Posmac clatters into him from behind. It's lumped towards Duffy and Clark who both miss it and the hosts have a goal kick.
  • 41 min: Moldova have their first corner of the game after a long throwin is turned behind. The ball squirts across the box and McClean tidies up at the back stick.
  • 42 min: Good break from Ireland, with Hoolahan again at the heart of it. The ball is laid off for him and he chips a good ball into the path of McClean, who is run slightly wide and can't wrap his foot around the shot.
  • 44 min: Clark wins the ball back well and finds Walters who is fouled on the edge. Good chance this just before half time.
  • 45 min: McClean takes it and the less said about his effort the better.


  • That is an absolutely rotten goal for Ireland to concede. Gatcan lofts a speculative ball forward and Duffy and Clark get caught horribly out of position, leaving Bugaev to scamper upfield and slide it into the far corner past Randolph.


  • That goal looks even worse when you see the number seven on Duffy's back. Just wrong.
  • The teams are back out for the second half.


  • 47 min: Good possession for Moldova and Dedov cuts inside and lets fly with a speculative effort which Randolph is equal to at the near post.
  • 49 min: The opening exchanges after the break have been played exclusively in the irish half. Coleman skips past one on the near side then gets caught in possession and is booked for pulling his man back. Moldova lump the free kick into the box and Randolph flaps at it, with the follow-up shot blocked amid a sea of green bodies.
  • 51 min: Shaky start to the second half from Ireland.
  • 52 min: Duffy asks a lot of McClean with an angled ball and gets an earful. Moments later Walters is free down the right and his cross is headed down by McClean but Calancea gathers easily.
  • 54 min: Hoolahan picks it up just inside the Moldovan half and drives at goal, but his shot is strsight at the 'keeper.
  • 58 min: Hoolahan eyes up a dropping ball on the edge and lines up the volley but only catches sweet fresh air.
  • 59 min: Good cross from the left from Ward but there's no green shirt there to meet it. Moldova break and Randolph concedes a corner sliding out and taking the ball away from Coleman's feet. Ireland clear, but they're coming under pressure now.
  • 62 min: Long is crocked and he's limping off to be replaced by Callum O'Dowda, who's the first off a very threadbare bench. Walters likely to move into a central role.
  • 65 min: O'Dowda's first involvement out on the left and he gets a good cross into the back post to McClean who heads tamely at the 'keeper rather than go back across goal to the green shirts queuing up.
  • 68 min: That goal before half time completely knocked the stuffing out of Ireland, they've been very poor since the break. Neat play from Moldova and Duffy makes a vital interception.  
  • 69 min: Hoolahan scheming away and he carries to the edge but tries to do a bit too much and loses it.


  • Well it isn't pretty, but Ireland are back in the lead. McCarthy pulls a long range shot horribly and it falls to Walters in the box. He lays it off to McClean and the West Brom man stabs it into the right corner.


  • 72 min: Walters holds the ball up well and draws the foul, giving Ireland a free kick in a good position on the left. Ward crosses and Duffy meets it but his header is well wide.
  • Dusan Tadic has put Serbia 3-2 up against Austria in Belgrade.


  • That should be that. Cute from Hoolahan on the right, megging his man and sliding in Coleman who dinks it back from the byline to McClean who fiishes first time.


  • 80 min: McCarthy's night is over, he's been replaced by Stephen Meyler.
  • 84 min: Hoolahan looks to pull the trigger from the edge but the ball won't quite drop for him and Moldova can clear.  

  • 85 min: Meyler picks it up between the lines and looks to slide in O'Dowda but his ball is poor.
  • 86 min: Hoolahan comes off to be replaced by Eunan O'Kane after a good night's work. Meyler is fouled and Ireland have a free kick in a dangerous position which McClean pings into the wall.
  • 89 min: A nasty challenge from Dedov on Walters, who has stud marks on his stomach to show for it. Tempers flare and O'Neill is on the pitch restraining the Stoke City forward, who gets a booking for his troubles.
  • 90 min: There'll be four minutes of injury time.
  • 93 min: Cebotaru's half volley is blocked and Moldova will have a late corner. McClean misses it at the near post but Ireland can clear.
  • Wes Hoolahan gets a deserved man of the match award.