The Moldavians’ on 9th of October, hosted Republic of Ireland in the ongoing World Cup Qualifier matches

Ireland emerged with three points to add to the three they got in a more challenging encounter against Georgia, This thus ensured that they took their tally to a more than satisfactory seven from their opening three matches.

However, there is no disguising the fact that they will need to be significantly stronger in Austria this month and for the tougher challenges that lie ahead if they are to maintain that start.

Wes Hoolahan's pass carved the Moldavian defence wide open and a gleeful Long, who had not scored since doing so for Ireland in a friendly against Netherlands in May, brilliantly tipped a shot over Nicolae Calancea.

With the Moldavians’ having triumphed of their last 22 matches and not tasted competitive victory in three years, the signs were good and as Hoolahan and McClean got to work, and chances arrived consistently.

But McClean was particularly missing his chances as he repeatedly got himself into good positions, but was unable to make the most of it, barely testing Calancea with a fourth-minute strike from distance and then missing the target with three subsequent efforts.

Moldavia dominated the ball when they had it and with Bugaev mobile and willing, they stretched the Irish rearguard on several occasions without testing keeper Darren Randolph. Nevertheless, that all changed in first-half stoppage time when Shane Duffy was caught napping by Bugaev's movement on halfway and the front man raced away to beat Randolph, who previously had little to occupy him.

Moldavia were caught up again when Seamus Coleman carved his way into the penalty area and chipped the ball across to McClean, who volleyed it sweetly past the clueless Calancea to assure the victory with 3-1.