Live Commentary: Moldova 0-5 England - as it happened

Frank Lampard
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of England's opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of England's opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

The match will be England's first competitive match since being eliminated from Euro 2012 on penalties at the hands of Italy in June.

Meanwhile, Moldova have gone almost 11 months without a win, and have never beaten England.

You can read full team news for both sides here.

Please note that kickoff is at 7.45pm.


9.40pmOK, that's it from me for tonight! Thank you for joining and I hope you've enjoyed England's comprehensive victory as much as I have! Stay tuned to Sports Mole for reaction and analysis from tonight's match. Good night!

9.39pmMontenegro and Poland could only draw 2-2. Those two could challenge England in the group, so that is a good result for the Three Lions.

9.38pmJob done from England's point of view, then. Not only five goals, but first international goals for both James Milner and Leighton Baines will give the side a lot of confidence. There are improvements to be made - a better side would have capitalised on their mistakes - but overall a good display.

9.35pmYou can read a full match report of tonight's game here.

9.34pmSo, there you have it. England's road to Brazil gets underway with a big win over one of the group's whipping boys. Anything less than a convincing win would have been criticised, but England will be very happy that performance.

90+2 minFULL TIME: Moldova 0-5 England

90+1 minEngland are just knocking the ball about now, seeing the game out.

90 minTwo minutes to be added on.

88 minJohn Terry has been forced to leave the pitch with an injury, and England have used all of their subs so will finish the match with ten men.

86 minWalcott has a shot that is very comfortable for the keeper after another break involving Welbeck and Cleverley.

85 minMeanwhile, Wales have gone 2-0 down against Belgium, and again they fall foul to a goal from a Premier League defender, this time Jan Vertonghen.

82 minWhen you're 141st in the world things really don't go your way. Baines's free kick takes a massive deflection off Gatcan and leaves the keeper stranded. 5-0.

82 minGOAL! Leighton Baines

81 minA decent spell from Moldova ends with another ambitious shot from Patras which is never going to beat a player of Joe Hart's quality. I think that is about five times he has tried one of them now. Yes, if you don't shoot you won't score, but there is a limit!

79 minSome nice football on the edge of the box from England there, but no-one can quite find space for the shot as Johnson eventually loses it.

76 minA substitution for Moldova as Picusceac is replaced by Sidorenco, who plays in the Israeli second division.

73 minJames Milner makes it 4-0 to England - eventually. Walcott races away on the counter attack before giving it to Welbeck, who then shifted it on to Cleverley. The trio then passed it back along the line before Walcott teed up Milner, who fired his effort into the bottom corner for his first ever England goal.

73 minGOAL! James Milner

71 minReplays show that the ball did hit the defender's hand, but there was no way that he could have moved it out of the way in time. Correct decision.

70 minJohnson again makes his way down the right flank and his attempted cross is blocked. Johnson wants another penalty but the referee waves it away this time.

67 minHodgson makes his third sub of the match as Defoe makes way for Danny Welbeck.

65 minA half chance for Cleverley as Carrick guides the ball out to Lampard, whose drilled cross finds the Manchester United youngster. However, his half volley is scuffed and bounces wide.

64 minThe travelling England support are making a good noise at the moment! They've had more to shout about at other points in this match, though, as England have taken their foot off the pedal.

62 minMoldova knock the ball about in midfield for a while. It's just like watching Spain!

59 minA scramble in the Moldovan box is eventually cleared and the hosts break clear following another mistake, but they can't get away despite having a two on one situation.

58 minPoland have also equalised against Montenegro, which would be a good result for England.

57 minOff comes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after a very good performance to be replaced by club teammate Theo Walcott.

56 minMilner advances down the right but is seen out by Dedov. The linesman awards a corner, which is punched cleared by the keeper, who takes a bump for his troubles.

55 minSloppy play at the back from England at the back leads to nothing, but they need to cut those mistakes out. A better team would have taken advantage of at least one of their mistakes today.

53 minElsewhere in England's group, by the way, Montenegro are beating Poland 2-1.

50 minOxlade-Chamberlain comes forward yet again, feeding Baines whose cross is cleared only as far as Oxlade-Chamberlain again, who this time finds Milner, whose cross is straight into the arms of Namasco.

46 minWell, it has been an attacking start by England. Johnson travels down the right before pulling the ball back to Cleverley, but the midfielder slices his shot harmlessly off target.

46 minIt will be interesting to see how England approach this match. The game is surely won, so will Hodgson sit back or push on for more goals? Hopefully the latter.

8.45pmEngland get us back underway!

8.44pmThe teams are back out for the second half, and Michael Carrick is coming on for England in place of skipper Steven Gerrard. Lampard is the new captain. Suvarov is surprisingly going off for Moldova too, being replaced by Dedov.

8.42pmMeanwhile, my prediction has already gone down the pan. Serves me right for being so pessimistic!

8.40pmOther half time scores: Finland 0-1 France, Netherlands 1-0 Turkey, Bulgaria 1-2 Italy, Germany 1-0 Faroe Islands.

8.38pmElsewhere, Portugal have equalised against Luxembourg and go into half time at 1-1 and Wales have gone behind against Belgium courtesy of a Vincent Kompany header.

8.35pmThings won't get much easier for England in this group - Moldova at home and San Marino home and away are ones that spring to mind - but you can only beat the team in front of you and England have all but done that already.

8.33pmOur half time report of this match is available to read here.

8.32pmA mini scare at the end of the half there for England but, overall, they will be delighted with their performance. They sometimes make hard work of away games against the minnows, but they have looked fluid and dangerous today, and deservedly lead 3-0.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Moldova 0-3 England

45 minCHANCE! Armas connects with a header for the hosts, but it goes inches wide of Hart's goal. England escape there.

44 minSuvarov's crosses are the only things that look dangerous for Moldova and his latest causes Hart to flap and his punch goes behind for a corner.

42 minGreat stat from Opta Stats here: The last time Lampard scored a brace for England (vs Croatia in 2009) the first goal was a penalty and the second was a header set up by Glen Johnson.

41 minDefoe is hungry for goals today. He gets the ball from Milner before turning and shooting, but his effort curls high over the bar.

39 minWe'll take you away from Moldova briefly to inform you of a potential shock brewing: Luxembourg currently lead Portugal 1-0!

38 minAt the other end, Defoe fires a shot that is well blocked and bounces back off the Tottenham man for a goal kick.

36 minAnother dangerous delivery from Suvurov meets the head of a teammate, but he gets too much on it and it doesn't threaten Hart's goal.

35 minEngland have taken their foot off the pedal a bit since that frantic couple of minutes.

31 minIt's 3-0! Oxlade-Chamberlain comes forward this time before feeding the ball to Defoe, who makes a good run before firing it first time past Namasco at the near post. Keeper shouldn't have been beaten there, though.

29 minOFF THE POST! Tom Cleverley captilises on an error by the Moldovan defence and fires a shot in from 20 yards, but it is off target, deflecting off the outside of the post before going behind for a goal kick.

28 minFrank Lampard doubles his tally for the match, and it's a rare headed goal. Johnson's cross is inch perfect for the Chelsea man, who nestles his header into the far corner.

28 minGOAL! Frank Lampard

27 minJohnson responds with a trademark run and cut inside before shooting straight at Namasco, who fumbles it before eventually clearing it for a throw in.

26 min...which is a good one, but well cleared by Gerrard and then Oxlade-Chamberlain. Patras tries another effort from even further out this time, but it's comfortably saved by Hart.

25 minAnother effort on goal for Moldova is deflected wide by John Terry and the hosts have a corner...

23 minSteven Gerrard strikes it, and it's a thunderous effort, but the ball just rises at the last second and goes over the bar.

22 minBaines advances with a good positive run before it's finished by a Moldovan handball. Free kick in a dangerous position...

20 minThe hosts are seeing more of the ball now. It's all still a bit frantic but they're sstarting to spend more time in England's half.

17 minMoldova have their first shot of the game as Patras lets fly from 30-odd yards. Not a terrible effort, and Joe Hart deemed it worthy of a dive, but it sailed off target. It's got the crowd going, though!

15 minEngland are trying to play nice, intricate football here. Cleverley tries to feed Gerrard on the edge of the box but it is just cut out.

13 minCHANCE! Milner manages to find a cross from the right, and Namasco's punch is a poor one. The ball falls to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who tries and acrobatic volley that the Moldovan keeper is able to parry away.

10 minCHANCE! Another chance for England as Liverpool duo Johnson and Gerrard combine to send Defoe through, but his effort is saved before being cleared behind for a corner. All England here.

9 minIt is only Moldova, but Hodgson will be very happy with his side's start to this one.

8 minCHANCE! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flies down the left flank and pulls the ball to Jermain Defoe, who doesn't look like he is expecting it, and wastes a glorious chance from six yards out.

7 minThat penalty also made Lampard England's highest ever scorer from the spot, with eight. His overall tally of 24 draws him level with Sir Geoff Hurst.

4 minYELLOW CARD! Bulgaru was yellow carded for that handball - a harsh card for sure - and just a minute later Glen Johnson also picks up a booking.

3 minGreat start for England! Tom Cleveley's shot strikes Bulgaru, and the referee awards a handball. Definitely hit his hand, but he was very close to Cleverley so perhaps a bit harsh. Lampard steps up, though, and scores England's 100th penalty for his 24th international goal.

3 minGOAL! Frank Lampard

2 minPENALTY TO ENGLAND!

1 minEngland immediately take control of the ball, a theme I'd imagine will continue throughout the game.

7.45pmMoldova get us underway! The road to Brazil has begun!

7.42pmBig cheer for the Moldovan national anthem too.

7.42pmBig cheer for the Moldovan national anthem too.

7.40pmThe national anthems are underway, and England's is delightfully out of tune but well respected by the home support.

7.39pmCarrick, by the way, has only started five competitive games for England in an 11-year career.

7.38pmHodgson also explains that he chose Cleverley ahead of Carrick because Carrick's style is more similar to Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

7.36pmRoy Hodgson tells ITV why he chose Jermain Defoe ahead of Danny Welbeck: "He's been playing very well for Tottenham, and did very well when he came on against Italy. He deserves it."

7.35pmTen minutes until kickoff...PREDICTION TIME! In my view there is no way England can lose this (touch wood), but I've watched England enough to know that the goals are unlikely to flow. 0-2 to Hodgson's men is my call.

7.32pmMoldova are also 141st in the world, while England are third. Third may flatter Roy Hodgson's men, but with 138 places between them it really shouldn't make much difference today!

7.31pmMoldova have not scored since their win against San Marino last year. Surely, England will come away from this game with three points..?

7.28pmThe pre-match talk has been all about the pitch today, it will be interesting to see how it holds up. It has been cut since the two sides trained on it, so hopefully shouldn't cause as much of a problem as first feared.

7.26pmBoth the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been in action already today. The Republic narrowly avoided a shock loss to Kazakhstan, scoring late to clinch a 2-1 win, while Northern Ireland lost 2-0 to Fabio Capello's Russia.

7.22pmMoldova last won a game on the 11th October 2011, beating minnows San Marino 4-0. Since then, they have lost to Georgia, Venezuela and El Salvador, as well as drawing with Belarus and Albania.

7.20pmLast time - in fact the only time - England played against Moldova in Moldova, one David Beckham made his debut, and Nick Barmby, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer scored the goals.

7.19pmNo Wayne Rooney for the Three Lions today of course, he is still injured, giving Jermain Defoe the chance to start up front.

7.16pmA little piece of history between the two sides now: Moldova and England have only met each other twice before, during the 1998 World Cup qualifiers. On September 1, 1996, England won 3-0 in Moldova before beating them 4-0 in the reverse fixture just over a year later.

7.14pmGood evening! England's road to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins here!


Adam Johnson
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