Ukraine were held to a goalless draw by lowly Moldova in their FIFA World Cup qualifier™ on Friday to add to the woes of a turbulent week.

The Ukrainians made the trip without coach Oleg Blokhin, who underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his carotid artery earlier this week, days before he planned to step down anyway in order to return to Dynamo Kiev.

Blokhin's absence dominated the agenda in the build-up to the match and although the players had insisted it would not affect them, they certainly looked far from their best as they fluffed their chances to hand Moldova a first point of the campaign.

Not that they didn't create plenty of openings in a match that was one-way traffic throughout.

Roman Zozylya wasted some of the best, blazing over from close range midway through the first half and then heading against a post from Ruslan Rotan's 34th-minute free-kick.

Early in the second half, Stanislav Namasco pushed Denys Garmash's header around the post before Taras Mykhalyk wasted another close-range chance.

There was a late chance for Moldova, but Andrei Pyatov parried Alexandru Gatcan's shot away from danger. Ukraine now have two points from as many matches after their opening 1-1 draw with England.