Ireland 2 Moldova 0: How the Ireland players rated

Two first-half goals from Daryl Murphy see Ireland past group whipping boys

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy scores his  second goal.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy scores his second goal. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

 

23 Darren Randolph

Had a predictably quiet time of it but the one time he was called upon, he pulled off the save of the night to keep out a sweet Platica volley that was headed for the top corner. Rating: 7

2 Cyrus Christie

Always willing when he went raiding down the right flank but his deliveries were low enough on quality, even though he generally had the beating of his man. Rating: 5

3 Ciaran Clark

Ciaran Clark holds off Radu Ginsari. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
Ciaran Clark holds off Radu Ginsari. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Had little enough defending to do and always looked comfortable doing it. Had one chance to get on the scoresheet himself but headed it wide in the first half. Rating: 7

20 Shane Duffy

Much the same as Clark, albeit a little sloppier in possession. Made a nuisance of himself for the first goal but couldn’t stretch his neck for the one chance that came his way. Rating: 6

17 Stephen Ward

Made himself busy down the left flank. Took advantage of the spare acre of space to cross for Murphy’s second goal and in general looked markedly more positive than usual. Rating: 7

13 Jeff Hendrick

In a game that was there for whatever midfielder fancied taking a hold of it, he didn’t do very much beyond the basics. Made few mistakes, took few risks. Did fine. Rating: 6

18 David Meyler

Great covering to snuff out an early Moldovan break and basically bossed the game from there. Shielded the back four with authority, one short backpass to Randolph apart. Rating: 7

14 Wes Hoolahan

As always, everything good went through him. Reliably tidy at close quarters and spread the play with delectable ball to Ward for Murphy’s second goal. Must play on Monday. Rating: 8

12 Callum O’Dowda

Ireland’s Callum O’Dowda is challenged by Alexandru Epureanu. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Ireland’s Callum O’Dowda is challenged by Alexandru Epureanu. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Showed some promising touches here and there and a level of confidence in possession not always obvious in Ireland players. Little enough attacking thrust, it must be said. Rating: 6

9 Shane Long

Hopefully saving the goals for Monday. Fluffed two sitters in the first half and missed an open goal on the hour. Never stopped running but a rotten night in front of goal. Rating: 4

8 Daryl Murphy

Put the game out of Moldova’s reach early on, arguably with his first goal but definitely with his second. Had a bit to do for both of them, especially the forcefully-headed second. Rating: 7

Substitutions

The game was over when Aiden McGeady, Harry Arter and Seán Maguire came on. Outside of the goals, Maguire’s introduction got the biggest cheer of the night. Rating: 6

Martin O’Neill

Can’t ask for much more. Chose well, going with two big men up top and leaving room for Wes Hoolahan to make merry in behind. Could maybe have taken Wes off a bit earlier if he has him in mind for Wales. Rating: 7

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