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Moldova hold off Russia to earn point in Moscow

Alexandru Epureanu capped a fine individual performance with a goal moments after Artem Dzyuba had broken the deadlock from the spot.

Artem Dzyuba of Russia rises above Alexandru Epureanu (right) of Moldova / AFP/Getty Images

Alexandru Epureanu struck moments after Artem Dzyuba had broken the deadlock from the spot as Moldova claimed their first point of UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.

The game looked up when Artem Dzyuba gave dominant Russia the lead 17 minutes from time. Instead, the visitors replied with panache, surging forward and winning a corner. Alexandru Epureanu, excellent at the back all night, did the rest, spinning away from Sergei Ignashevich to head in.

Past meetings between Russian and Moldovan clubs had suggested a tight encounter and so it proved as the game quickly settled on an established formula. Moldova sat right back, stymieing progress through the middle and inviting crosses into the box: give it your best shot. The home side gamely tried, with scant rewards a more nuanced approach always provided more threat.

Alan Dzagoev screwed across goal early on after jinking through, while it took a pair of superb interventions from the outstretched leg of Epureanu to deny Aleksandr Kerzhakov and Dzyuba. Moldova were unperturbed, sticking to their game plan and trying their luck on the break almost to spectacular effect before half-time as Ion Jardan escaped on the right and delivered a delicious ball across the box that somehow evaded everyone.

The siege continued after the restart and, though cracks appeared, Russia could not squeeze through them. Denis Glushakov, Dzagoev and Dzyuba all squandered good chances before Victor Golovatenco's tangle with Aleksei Ionov in the box allowed Dzyuba to set up a grandstand finale., 12 October 2014

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Russia 1-1 Moldova
12 October 2014
EC Qualification 2016
Otkrytie Arena - Moscow
Attendance: 36000
Referee: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)
Goals: Dzyuba (73 - Pen), Epureanu (74)
Russia: Akinfeev, Parshivlyuk, Ignashevich, V. Berezutski (C), Granat, Ionov (Schennikov, 75), Glushakov, Dzagoev, Cheryshev ( Poloz, 62), Kerzhakov (Ozdoev, 46), Dzyuba
Coach: F. Capello (Italy)
Moldova: Cebanu, Armash, Epureanu (C), Erhan, I. Jardan, Cojocari (Racu, 73), Gatcan, Ionita, Golovatenco, Dedov (Sidorenco, 82), Picushciac ( Patrash, 46)
Coach: Alexandr Kurteyan (MDA)
Yellow cards: Erhan (33), Golovatenco (72), Sidorenco (90+2)

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