- Stefan Savić opens the scoring on nine minutes
- Moldova almost hit back straight away through Artur Patraş
- A Petru Racu own goal doubles the lead
- Result leaves Moldova rooted to the bottom of Group G
- Next games: Moldova v Russia, Montenegro v Austria (9 October)
Montenegro kept their hopes of reaching UEFA EURO 2016 alive with a hard-earned 2-0 triumph against Moldova in Chisinau.
The result leaves Montenegro in fourth place in qualifying Group G with their tally of 11 points just one less than third-ranked Sweden, yet with games against table-topping Austria and Russia to come, coach Branko Brnović knows his team face an uphill battle to get to France next year.
The visitors started brightly, with skipper Stevan Jovetić pulling the strings in the centre and Stefan Savić lively on the right of midfield, and it was no surprise when the duo combined to put Brnović's side ahead in the ninth minute. Latching onto a half-cleared corner, Jovetić bought himself space before whipping in a cross-cum-shot that might have had the beating of Ilie Cebanu in the Moldova goal, but Savić – darting in at the far post – had the presence of mind to stick out a boot and make certain.
Moldova almost struck back immediately. When a slick pass from Alexandru Dedov set Alexandru Gaţcan free down the right, Artur Patraş could only power the resulting header against the woodwork. For all that Alexandru Curteian's hosts grew in stature and dominated possession as the half progressed, they nonetheless struggled to test visiting keeper Vukašin Poleksić. Montenegro, meanwhile, seemed content to soak up pressure and hit their opponents on the break.
That remained the pattern after the resumption, yet regardless of Moldova's good work it was Montenegro who carried the greater attacking threat and they doubled their advantage in the 65th minute. A searching ball enabled Fatos Bećiraj to muscle his way into the box past Igor Armaş and fire in a shot which took a wicked deflection off Racu to wrong-foot Cebanu and seal the points for Montenegro.