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Moldova v Republic of Ireland - story of the match


James McClean, right, celebrates with Stephen Ward

James McClean, right, celebrates with Stephen Ward

James McClean, right, celebrates with Stephen Ward

James McClean ensured the Republic of Ireland's trip to Moldova did not end in embarrassment as he struck twice in quick succession to secure a 3-1 victory in Chisinau.

Ireland flew out of the blocks and were ahead within 116 seconds as Shane Long ended an 18-game drought for club and country.

However, Igor Bugaev dragged the home side back onto level terms on the stroke of half-time as the visitors slept, and it took McClean's double - which came in the 69th and 76th minutes - to see Martin O'Neill's men home.


"Oh yes! Did he need that as wel!! #COYBIG" - Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore was pleased to see Shane Long end his goal drought.


James McClean endured a frustrating start to the game as chances went begging, but it was he who found himself in the right place at the right time to take his international goals tally to seven with a priceless double.


Shane Long had gone 18 games for club and country without finding the back of the net when he arrived in Chisinau. But he needed just 116 seconds to remedy that situation at the Stadionul Zimbru when he ran on to Wes Hoolahan's slide-rule pass before converting the ball expertly past advancing keeper Nicolae Calancea.


Shane Duffy has established himself as a regular in Martin O'Neill's defence, but his trip to Chisinau is not one he will recall with any pleasure. It was he who was caught on his heels as Igor Bugaev tricked his way into space on halfway and raced clear to level on the stroke of half-time.


Darren Randolph - 6

Seamus Coleman - 7

Shane Duffy - 4

Ciaran Clark - 6

Stephen Ward - 6

James McCarthy - 5

Glenn Whelan - 6

Jonathan Walters - 7

James McClean - 8

Wes Hoolahan - 8

Shane Long - 7


Callum O'Dowda (for Long, 63mins) - 6

David Meyler (for McCarthy, 81 mins) - 5

Eunan O'Kane (for Hoolahan, 86 mins) - 5


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