'We can beat Wales' says Moldova boss
Moldova v Wales Live Sky Sports Mix (KO 7.45pm)
Moldova manager Igor Dobrovolski insists his team can upset Wales’ World Cup ambitions tonight.
Wales arrive in Chisinau with renewed optimism that they can make next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia after Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Austria.
The debut-making Ben Woodburn’s winner took them to within two points of Ireland in second and four points behind Group D leaders Serbia.
While the top two meet in Dublin tonight, Wales take on Moldova, who have lost five of their seven qualifiers and are yet to register a win.
“I have a small goal now (in this World Cup campaign) and it is to win,” Dobrovolski said at his pre-match press conference.
“We need to forget the mistakes we have made and look forward.
“This is a difficult game but, like in basketball and hockey, you focus on the next win - and that’s what we will do.”
Despite their travails in the group - Moldova’s only points have come from two draws against Georgia - a 10,400-capacity crowd is expected at the compact Zimbru Stadium.
And Dobrovolski (below) believes that will help Moldova’s hopes of claiming a first competitive victory since a 5-2 away triumph over Montenegro in October 2013.
“I hope the crowd will be the 12th player on the pitch because we need their support,” Dobrovolski said on the back of Saturday’s 3-0 defeat in Serbia. “These players need support - no matter how they played. I hope a full stadium will be more motivation for them.
“Of course there will be mistakes, not a good pass or a good cross. But we will do our best.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has revealed he helped persuade teenage sensation Woodburn to commit to Wales and reject England’s overtures.
Bale said: “I remember meeting him in one game, I think it was against Holland (in November 2015). I had a little chat with him then, getting (him) on board because obviously we knew he was a great player. We’re delighted to have him - and he’s Welsh anyway, he’s ours.”
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