Derryman Shane Duffy played an important part in the Republic of Ireland's win at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday night. The clean sheet in the two-nil will be as satisfying to him as the two goals scored by man of the match, Daryl Murphy.
Murphy settled Irish nerves with a goal in the second minute. A high ball into the Moldovan area fell nicely for him to poke home from inside the six yard box.
Shane Long went close on 15 minutes when he fired wide from 12 yards out, having met Callum O'Dowda's cross from the right.
Murphy doubled the scoring in the 19th minute. He headed in O'Dowda's cross from the right, 12 yards out.
Shane Long should have made it three in the 26th minute. Jeff Hendrick raced clear from midfield and freed Long to the right of the Moldova box. Long shot straight at the keeper when the goal seemed more likely.
The visitors did test the home keeper, Darren Randolph, when Sergiu Platica sent a dipping 25 yard shot goalward. The keeper palmed it over the bar for a corner.
Three minutes before the break, Ciaran Clark headed a cross from a Hendrick free kick just over the bar.
Murphy headed at goal in the 58th minute, but all he managed to do was to head the ball against the back of a Moldovan defender, from six yards out.
Moldova introduced substitute Eugeniu Cociuc in the 55th minute. On the hour, he sent a fine cross from the right into the Irish box. Luckily for the home side there were no Moldovan players ready to attack the ball.
Wes Hoolahan ran into the Moldovan area in the 61st minute. He seemed destined to score, but rather than shoot, he passed to O'Dowda on his left. His shot was blocked but fell to Shane Long, who missed the unguarded net completely from eight yards out.
Moldova were reduced to ten men in the closing seconds of added time when Alexandru Gatcan was given a straight red for an altercation with Harry Arter.
After the match, Martin Holmes spoke to Shane Duffy..