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Key Events

G. Bale
Penalty Goal
M. Mihaliov
A. Dedov
J. Collins
A. Williams
E. Sidorenco
E. Cebotaru
I. Bugaiov
R. Gînsari
H. Robson-Kanu
S. Vokes
E. Huws
J. Ledley
G. Bale
Goal
J. Allen
Goal
G. Bale
Assist
S. Vokes
Goal
A. Dedov
Yellow Card
3
0
3
1

Stats

Possession
% %
4
2
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 7 0
Total Passes 542 414

Commentary

Well, that’s all from me for now. Until next time, thank you and goodbye!
So, that victory sees Wales sit atop Group D after the opening round of fixtures, with a trip to Vienna next up. Elsewhere in the pool this evening, Austria beat Georgia 2-1, while Serbia held the Republic of Ireland to a 2-2 draw.
Bale turned scorer in the second-half, chipping home after racing onto a misplaced pass from Jardan before despatching from the spot with the last kick of the game.
Despite a nervy start, Chirs Coleman’s side had their lead shortly after the half-hour mark, Sam Vokes heading in from Gareth Bale’s pin-point delivery, before Joe Allen’s first international goal doubled their lead before the interval.
FULL TIME! It’s all over in Cardiff, where Wales have secured a convincing 4-0 victory over Moldova to get their World Cup qualification campaign off to an ideal start.
G. Bale
Penalty Goal
Wales
GOOOOAAAAALLLL! Easy from Bale, as he steps up to side-foot home from the spot, comfortably beating Cebanu. That's the first time in nine years that Wales have netted four in a competitive fixture!
PENALTY TO WALES! Well, a perfect opportunity to put further gloss on the victory now, as Bale is dragged down in the area. The Real Madrid man stands over the spot-kick...
CHANCE! So close to a fourth for Wales, as Robson-Kanu - on the turn - drives a low strike at goal from close-range, but Cebanu reacted well to get down low to his left and make the save.
There will be four additional minutes at the end of the second-half...
Almost! Good work initially from Robson-Kanu, as he shirks off his marker and delivers a low ball across the six-yard box. However, Bale was waiting on the penalty spot, but the West Brom forward did not get his head up quickly enough.
With this victory, it is now just one defeat in 12 qualifiers for Coleman’s side. They were barely playing in front of 10,000 fans just a few years ago but now, in a fixture against lowly Moldova, the Welsh have attracted a crowd of over 30,000. It shows just how far they have come since the late Gary Speed took over the national side in 2010.
M. Mihaliov
A. Dedov
Moldova
A final change now for the visitors as, at the tender age of 30, Maxim Mihaliov comes on to make his competitive debut, replacing Alexandru Dedov.
Immediate involvement for Collins, as he is called into action to prevent Ionita - who plays his trade in Serie A with Cagliari and was linked with a move to Swansea City in the close-season - getting on the end of Sidorencb’s cross. With this substitute appearance, Collins has become the 36th player to reach a landmark 50 caps for Wales.
J. Collins
A. Williams
Wales
A third and final change now for Wales, as their skipper - Ashley Williams - goes off, perhaps due to taking a knock. He is replaced by West Ham’s James Collins, with Bale taking on the captain's arm-band.
The Wales faithful are in full voice in Cardiff as their side ease towards a convincing victory. With Austria only managing 2-1 win in Georgia, and the Republic of Ireland currently level with Serbia, this win would - as it stands - see them rise to top spot in the group.
Just a tester for Hennessey, as the Wales shot-stopper has to be alert to make sure that Armas’ audacious long-range strike isn't going to creep under his crossbar. Wales swiftly are up the other end, with Taylor clipping in a delightful cross towards Robson-Kanu, but Cebanu just manages to claw the ball away from danger.
E. Sidorenco
E. Cebotaru
Moldova
The second switch sees Eugeniu Cebotaru make way for Eugen Sidorenco.
I. Bugaiov
R. Gînsari
Moldova
A double substitution is planned for Moldova. The first change sees Igor Bugaiov replace Radu Ginsari.
H. Robson-Kanu
S. Vokes
Wales
A huge roar goes up from the crowd now, as Hal Robson-Kanu - forever in Welsh folklore for his wonderful goal against Belgium in Euro 2016 - is introduced. The former Reading striker replaces Sam Vokes, who opened the scoring for Wales with that terrific first-half header.
A way-ward cross from Bale almost causes problems for Cebanu, but he manages to avoid what would have been an embarrassing error by sharply adjusting his feet and smothering the effort.
Terrific play from Davies, as he finds King with a brilliantly disguised - but venomously struck - pass. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Leicester City man cannot take the ball under his spell this time.
CLOSE! Almost an immediate impact from Huws, as the Cardiff City midfielder curls in an inviting cross towards Vokes, but the striker is just unable to make a connection with his attempted header.
E. Huws
J. Ledley
Wales
So, here is a first change of the game, though it isn’t Robson-Kanu’s time yet. Instead, it is youngster Emyr Huws, who comes on for his eighth cap, replacing Joe Ledley.
Great defending by Williams, as the Everton man gets over at the vital time to prevent Ginsari nudging him from close range.
And indeed, Wales seem to be readying a change, as Hal Robson-Kanu - a free-agent up until his deadline day arrival at West Brom - begins to warm up, though Vokes has made his way back onto the field of play for the time being.
A slight cause for concern now, as Vokes stays down with what appears to be a head injury. Surely, Coleman will not risk his striker for much longer if that is indeed the case...
STAT FLASH - In their last World Cup qualification campaign, Wales kept only one clean sheet in 10 games and conceded 20 goals. However, Coleman's side have kept eight clean sheets in their last 13 competitive games.
Wales are knocking the ball around with ultimate ease at the moment, as they work a move from back to front, only for Vokes to be flagged offside after latching onto a floated pass from Williams.
That strike is Bale’s third goal in as many games for club and country so far this term, and has moved him into joint-second place in Wales’ list of all-time goalscorers.
G. Bale
Goal
Wales
GOOOOOAAAAALLL!!! And, as I type, the hosts do just that! It’s an awful pass from Jardan, who inadvertently picks out Bale - the Madrid star proceedings to drive through on goal and loft a delicate finish over Cebanu.
While Wales could certainly have been dealt a tougher draw, Group D is going to be no easy matter to negotiate, with the Republic of Ireland, Serbia and, in particular, Austria, all likely to be vying for the single automatic qualification slot, with the second-placed team having to settle for a play-off berth. Due to this, Coleman will surely have emphasis just how important every goal will be in this campaign, and will likely be looking for his side to boost their goal-difference in what remains of this game...
STAT FLASH - Moldova have scored just nine goals in their last 19 games, and have never netted more than once in a match in that time.
Welcome back! Wales have got the second-half underway in Cardiff!
After a nervy opening, Chris Coleman’s men finally had their lead when Bale picked out Vokes with a wonderful delivery, with Allen adding a second just prior to the interval.
HALF-TIME! That’s it for the first half in Cardiff, where goals from Sam Vokes and Joe Allen have put the hosts into a commanding 2-0 lead over Moldova, despite a rather tepid opening half-an-hour from Wales.
Wales are brimming with confidence now, as safe in the knowledge that this game is all-but won, they are starting to enjoy themselves.
J. Allen
Goal
Wales
GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!! IT’S A SECOND FOR WALES! And it is Allen who has got it, with his maiden strike for his nation as, from the resulting corner, Cebanu flaps at the cross, with the former Swansea City midfielder drives home with a first-time effort that squirms in under the Moldova goalkeeper.
GREAT EFFORT! Almost! Brilliant once more from Bale, who picks up the ball 30 yards from goal and hammers a dipping strike towards the bottom-left corner, but Cebanu reacts sharply to parry it wide.
If anything, Moldova seem to have dropped deeper since that opener. Can Wales snatch a second by half-time to all-but seal the victory?
G. Bale
Assist
Wales
It was a great header by Vokes, but the whip, pace and direction on Bale’s cross simply negated Moldova’s defence and allowed the Burnley striker to head in unchallenged.
S. Vokes
Goal
Wales
GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! It’s Vokes who has given Wales the lead, but the credit goes to Bale for what was an outstanding delivery from the right, as the Real Madrid winger put in a pin-point cross onto the head of the striker, who duly nods home.
Superb play from King, who picks out Gunter with a sublime pass that carved through Moldova’s lines, but the Reading full-back was unable to get a cross into the six-yard box.
STAT FLASH - Though this is Vokes’ 45th cap for Wales, the Burnley forward has started just 14 international games. He has been handed his opportunity this evening due to the fact that Hal Robson-Kanu - who last week signed for West Brom - has not played since featuring in the semi-final defeat to Portugal.
Pure pace from Bale, as the ex-Tottenham star breezes past Dedov with ease, but his final touch is just too heavy and the chance goes amiss.
While Moldova have been rigid and stubborn in their defending, it has to be said that Wales have failed to string together any meaningful moves as of yet, and as such have struggled to build any momentum. There is still plenty of time remaining, however, and Wales are at least slowly starting to show glimpses of their quality.
CLOSE! Bale drifts in a fantastic delivery from the set-piece, which leaves the goalkeeper stranded, but no Wales player had gambled on making a run to the far post, and the ball edges just wide.
Great play from Bale, who draws the foul from Gatcan with a wonderful bit of skill. The Moldova midfielder is rather fortunate to escape a booking, but Wales do have a free-kick in a dangerous position deep in the visitors’ territory.
STAT FLASH - Moldova have won one of their last 21 games (1-0 v Andorra), losing 14 and drawing six.
There is an increasing air of frustration from the Wales faithful now, as their side struggle to break through the banks of Moldova defenders. Allen, in particular, has been incredibly wasteful compared to his usual lofty standards.
A lengthy stoppage now, as Cebanu receives treatment for a gash above the eye, which was picked up in that challenge with Vokes. The Moldova medical staff are certainly taking their time...
CHANCE! Strong goalkeeping from Cebanu, who adjusts his feet sharply before jumping in bravely against Vokesm with the Burnley man ultimately conceding a foul for the collision - though there was little malice in it.
Wales have struggled to find their rhythm so far this evening, though King and, particularly, Ledley are looking dangerous with some darting runs from deep. As I type, Taylor drives forward down the left and looks to thread a pass into the feet of Bale, but the ball is deflected away by a Moldovan defender.
STAT FLASH - Bale scored seven of Wales’ 11 goals during Euro 2016 qualifying. However, he has gone three games without a goal for his nation, so you feel his probably due one this evening...
CHANCE! An opportunity opens up for Ledley on the edge of the area, and the ex-Celtic midfielder duly gets a shot off, but his strike is a tame one and does not trouble Cebanu.
A. Dedov
Yellow Card
Moldova
Stupid from Dedov, who has got himself into the book needlessly for dissent. Bale tries his luck from the resulting set-piece, but his effort is well, well wide.
Good defending from Davies, who reacts sharply to prevent Dedov getting on the end of the free-kick he won, before the Tottenham man then stewards Cojocari away from goal.
Sloppy from Allen, as the Stoke player concedes possession with a badly-directed header, allowing Dedov to capitalise, and the former Liverpool midfielder can only bring down Moldova’s No.10 30 yards out from Hennessey’s goal…
Wales have played Moldova twice before, winning once and losing once during Euro 1996 qualification - a 3-2 defeat which conversely represented Moldova’s first-ever competitive victory.
NO PENALTY! A big call early on for the official, as Gunter gets the better of Dedov before taking a tumble in he area. There was a slight bit of contact, but overall it is the correct decision by the referee.
It seems to be more of a 4-5-1 formula for Moldova at the moment, with Dedov having drifted out to a position out on the left. He does well to get a cross in, which Williams is only able to clear as far as Cojocari, but he gets his strike horribly wrong.
Good pressure being applied by the away side in the early stages, as they prevent Allen or King from settling on the ball in midfield. However, Williams and Davies do well to thread a move out from the back. Lesley looks to squirm his way towards the area, but he is quickly smothered by a wall of yellow shirts.
KICK-OFF! We are up and running in Cardiff, as the visitors get the game underway! The referee this evening is Liran Liany, of Israel.
Just moments away from kick-off now, as the sides make their way out onto the pitch. There is a vibrant atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight, as Wales look to get the road to Russia off to a winning start. But, before we kick-off, it's time for the national anthems...
While Wales’ line-up, bar Bale, is far from star-studded, there is very little in the way of household names in the Moldova side, whose last four victories have all come away from home. Coach Igor Dobrovolskiy looks to have gone with a solid 5-3-2 formation in order to match Coleman’s men, who will be looking to dominate proceedings from the off.
TEAM NEWS - Golovatenco, Cociuc, Racu, Namasco, Picusceac, Ivanov, Mihaliov, Sidorenco, Bugaev,  Bordian, Koselev.
TEAM NEWS - Moldova (5-3-2): Cebanu; Cojocari, Cascaval, Epureanu, Armas, Jardan; Gatcan, Cebotaru, Ionita; Ginsari, Dedov.
So, it’s the usual 3-5-2 system from Coleman that has brought them so much success in recent years. Due to injury sustained on duty with Arsenal, the home side are shorn of Aaron Ramsey this evening, though will of course still be able to call upon the star quality of Gareth Bale, who has enjoyed a fantastic start to the campaign with Real Madrid and is just six goals behind Ian Rush in the list of Wales’ all-time top-scorers.
TEAM NEWS - Wales substitutes: Fon Williams, Ward, Robson-Kanu, Huws, Williams, MacDonald, Richards, Cotterill, Collins, Lawrence, Dummett, Church.
TEAM NEWS - Wales (3-5-2): Hennessey; Chester, Williams, Davies; Gunter, King, Allen, Ledley, Taylor; Bale, Vokes.
The team news is in from the Cardiff City Stadium. So without further ado, lets check on the full line-ups.
Moldova, on the other hand, won three of their 10 qualifiers for the last World Cup, having claimed victories from just two of their previous 38 beforehand.
On paper at least, Group D - which along with Moldova also includes Serbia, Austria, the Republic of Ireland and Georgia - looks a winnable proposition for Wales, who are unbeaten in six home competitive games (W4 D2). They last went seven unbeaten between October 1990 and October 1993 under Terry Yorath.
Wales’ exploits in their most-recent qualification campaign saw them reach the finals of a major tournament for just the second time in their history, and Coleman’s men most-certainly made the most of their opportunity in France, beating Slovakia, Russia, Northern Ireland and Belgium en-route to the last four, where they were ultimately overcome by eventual victors Portugal.
Hello football fans! Welcome to this LIVE coverage of Wales’ first World Cup qualifier, as Chris Coleman’s side – fresh from their terrific Euro 2016 campaign – kick-start what they hope will be a successful route through to Russia 2018 against minnows Moldova.
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