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A concerted response was required and it started almost immediately with Mc Clean getting his head to a Jonathan Walters cross, but failing to trouble Calancea, who then had to field Hoolahan’s skidding 54th-minute shot.
O’Neill was forced to make a change with 28 minutes remaining after Long went down clutching his hamstring and was replaced by winger Callum O’Dowda, a move which saw Walters promoted to the lone striker role.
But Wales - again inspired by Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn - finally found the way to goal with Hal Robson-Kanu and Aaron Ramsey on target.However, Ireland were unable to take any of them with Long seeing a close-range header blocked and Glenn Whelan firing just wide and blasting another effort against a defender's legs.But Mc Clean was particularly wasteful as he repeatedly got himself into good positions, but failed 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, the last of them a 42nd-minute free-kick in an inviting position.But the Dragons arrived in high spirits following the dramatic weekend win over Austria which had rekindled hopes of World Cup qualification.Robson-Kanu had the first chance of a cagey opening when he headed Ramsey's corner wide and there was concern for Wales when Gareth Bale was left in a crumpled heap by Alexandru Epureanu.
Moldova visibly wilted and they were hit again within seven minutes when Seamus Coleman carved his way into the penalty area and chipped the ball across to Mc Clean, who volleyed it sweetly past the helpless Calancea to wrap up the points.