Moldova opened their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group E campaign with victory against ten-man Finland – their first competitive success in almost three years.
The key moment of a goalless first half arrived on 36 minutes when Sami Hyypiä was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Viorel Frunza. Moldova immediately took charge though it was not until the midway point of the second half that they broke the deadlock through substitute Alexandru Suvorov. Anatolie Doroş's fortuitous strike 16 minutes from time confirmed the hosts' first competitive win since a November 2007 encounter with Hunagry, their opponents in Budapest on Tuesday.
Frunza signalled Moldova's intentions by heading Vadim Boreţ's cross wide early on before Doroş shot off target from the edge of the area following a defensive lapse. Finland gradually began to assert themselves but any momentum they generated was swiftly halted by Hyypiä's dismissal.
That was cue for the hosts to surge forward, with Igor Ţîgîrlaş – twice – Frunza and Doroş all missing the target from promising positions before Suvorov showed them the way to goal direct from a 69th-minute free-kick. Moldova doubled their lead soon after albeit with a hint of good fortune, Doroş scoring with a long-range effort which shot off the turf and bamboozled goalkeeper Otto Fredrikson.