A first-half goal from Nicolae Josan and a late penalty for substitute Anatolie Doroş rewarded a positive display for Moldova, with defeat leaving San Marino bottom of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group E.
Moldova created plenty of chances in Serravalle, but received a substantial helping hand from the home side for both their goals. After 20 minutes San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini failed to hold on to Alexandru Suvarov's corner, with Josan pouncing to finish from close range. Simone Bacchiocchi's foul on Alexei Savinov then gave fellow replacement Doroş an opportunity he duly took from the spot.
Simoncini's blunder may have handed Moldova the lead, but the goalkeeper atoned for his error with a fine block to deny Viorel Frunza from distance. San Marino pushed forward soon after, with Manuel Marani not quite able to profit from Fabio Bollini's flick-on. However, the visitors continued to pose a more tangible threat, with Valeriu Andronic hitting the post. Josan's goal from the rebound was disallowed for offside.
Andronic fired narrowly wide when sent through on the counterattack after the break, and Josan was in on the action again on 55 minutes, delivering a dangerous ball for Frunza, whose effort drew another fine stop from Simoncini. The 24-year-old custodian had no chance, however, when Doroş stepped up to convert the penalty that leaves Moldova level on points with third-placed Sweden.
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