October 10, 2016 / 5:01 AM / a year ago

McClean double gives Ireland 3-1 win in Moldova

Football Soccer - Moldova v Republic of Ireland - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone - Group D - Stadionul Zimbru, Chisinau, Moldova - 9/10/16 Republic of Ireland's James McClean celebrates after the match with Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan and teammates Reuters / Gleb Garanich Livepic

REUTERS - Ireland’s James McClean scored two second-half goals to secure a 3-1 win in Moldova on Sunday that put them level on points with the leaders in World Cup qualifying Group D though they were far from convincing.

Ireland went ahead after two minutes through Shane Long and looked comfortable until they were caught napping at the back just before halftime when Igor Bugaev levelled.

McClean restored the visitors’ lead when he stabbed home a close-range shot after 69 minutes and sealed the points six minutes later as Moldova’s challenge faded.

Ireland have seven points from three matches and trail Serbia on goal difference after they beat Austria 3-2. Moldova remain bottom without a point having conceded 10 goals.

Reporting by Martyn Herman in London; editing by Ken Ferris

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