Ireland midfielder Conor Hourihane has done his chances of starting against Moldova no harm at all with a clever free kick for Aston Villa on Saturday.
The former Barnsley captain was in action for Steve Bruce’s side against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, and put Villa back in front with around an hour gone with a well-taken free kick that curled around the Forest wall, giving unsighted goalkeeper Jordan Smith very little chance of keeping it out.
The strike keeps Hourihane’s hot streak going; he now has five goals in eight league games this season- just one behind his highest Championship season tally already.
Hourihane was not the only Irish international to get on the scoresheet in this match, however. Forest striker Daryl Murphy scored the visitors’ equaliser early into the second half with a neat finish – though as it stands it is set to be the mere consolation in a 2-1 defeat.
Both players are almost certain to be included when Martin O’Neill names his squad for Ireland’s final two World Cup qualifiers early next week.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chat to Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle, analyse Dundalk’s EA Sports Cup victory and review/preview the latest League of Ireland action.