The loss brought a fantastic eight-game unbeaten streak to an end.
The scoring was opened by Moldova's Ioan-Calin Revenco in the 26th minute, and Ion Nicolaescu doubled the lead on 45 minutes. Some recent Latvian sides would have wilted, but this young team showed plenty of spirit in front of enthusiastic home support and pulled a goal back in the 55th minute through Jānis Ikaunieks.
The match stats show that Latvia had the best of the possession throughout the match, more shots on goal and more accurate passing than the visitors, but they were unable to turn their superiority into goals.
Nevertheless Latvia remains top of group D and should feel confident they can secure a win away to Andorra on Sunday in the last group game. It will be the most important game the national team has played for some time, as if they win they will earn themselves a play-off game that could ultimately lead – via an extremely complex set of UEFA qualifying conditions – to a 2024 European Championship place.