Ireland dug deep for a deserved victory in eastern Europe tonight, after seeing off a tricky Moldova challenge, thanks to a James McClean brace.
Wes Hoolahan was included in the starting line-up, and made an immediate impact, playing Shane Long through for an early opener.
I’m not tweeting tonight about Weso because I’ve already tweeted 3263 times about him & how wonderful he is ???⚽️
— Alan Cawley (@alancaw) October 9, 2016
If Wes Hoolahan was 23 and English he’d be worth £30 million and playing for Man City. #ncfc
— nath (@pritchxrd_) October 9, 2016
To be fair, Wes Hoolahan has a football brain that moves at about 5 times the speed of the rest of our team #MOLIRE
— cc0ntr0ller (@cc0ntr0ller) October 9, 2016
Can we make Wes Hoolahan 10 years younger? The man is a genius
— LiamLallana (@liamlallana20) October 9, 2016
As Ireland pushed for a second, they were caught on the break at the stroke of half-time.
Moldova. Seriously… #COYBIG
— Chris McNulty (@chrismcnulty86) October 9, 2016
Crazy gamble for Duffy to step forward there
— Joe Molloy (@MolloyJoe) October 9, 2016
— Jamie Wall (@Jamwall7) October 9, 2016
No two ways about it, Moldova are shite and we should have put 3 past them already at this stage. GD will be crucial in this group.#MOLIRE
— Carl Mullan (@CarlMullan) October 9, 2016
After the break, the Irish took control once again, but tensions rose as they failed to find a breakthrough. Finally, James McClean eased the nerves.
James McClean finally gets the goal he deserved on Thursday night.
— Jacqui Hurley (@jacquihurley) October 9, 2016
Pleased for McClean,he’s been full of work this week.Although was hoping O’Dowda might get the winner if only for the “Mol an Oige” headline
— Anthony O’Connor (@Antcon7062) October 9, 2016
Ireland are rubbish, pathetic wouldn’t … wait a min McClean scored- we r gonna win the World Cup lads I’m tellin ya!!! #MOLIRE
— Kian Murray (@kianmurr) October 9, 2016
The winger then doubled Ireland’s lead and his own tally for the night.
I take it all back, James McClean is Messi ??
— Mark Pierce (@MarkMarkp80) October 9, 2016
James McClean is the best player in world football. Am I wrong?
— Ryan Cronin (@RyanCro_nin) October 9, 2016
Hamez McClean coming in clutch
— Arsènal (@LocomotionAFC) October 9, 2016
Job done, three points in the bag, and next up is a trip to Vienna in a few weeks’ time.