Martin O'Neill's reign as Republic of Ireland boss got off to an impressive start with a convincing victory over Latvia in Dublin.

Robbie Keane prodded in after James McClean had flicked on Aiden McGeady's corner midway through the first half.

McGeady fired in the second goal in the 68th minute, beating keeper Andris Vanins with a low drive from distance, while Shane Long grabbed a late third.

It meant a satisfying beginning for O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane.

Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill (r) chose Roy Keane as his assistant after being approached to become manager

The Republic dominated the game with Latvia creating few opportunities.

O'Neill and Keane now take their squad to Poland for a friendly on Tuesday night and they are expected to make a number of changes as they assess the resources at their disposal.

They will be buoyed by the warm reception they received from the crowd in Dublin, with the attendance swelled by the great interest sparked by the managerial appointment.

The fans got their money's worth in what turned out to be a comfortable victory over a Latvian side without an away victory for two years. The Republic played most of their football along the ground, a marked difference to some of the performances that led to Giovanni Trapattoni leaving his role as head coach.

Former Northern Ireland skipper O'Neill and 67-times capped Republic midfielder Keane were in constant discussion on the touchline, with O'Neill advancing regularly to the technical area to offer encouragement to the Irish players.

Match facts

Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane
  • FAI chief John Delaney says the O'Neill/Keane appointment boosted the attendance by 20,000
  • Robbie Keane has now scored 62 goals for the Republic - next best on the Irish list is Niall Quinn with 21
  • It is the fifth home match in a row in which Republic record scorer Keane has scored

LA Galaxy striker Keane has now scored 62 goals in 131 appearances for the Republic after he netted from close-range in the 22nd minute.

Keane had earlier shot straight at keeper Vanins from close-range and forced another save two minutes after his goal as Ireland dominated the first half.

McClean, who played under O'Neill at Sunderland, produced a bright display to be named man of the match, but wasted a chance to score when he pulled a right-foot effort wide of the near post.

The Republic should really have added to their tally before McGeady, teaming up again with his former Celtic boss O'Neill, finally made it 2-0.

McGeady picked up a loose pass from Juris Laizans in the Latvian defence and the low shot from about 25 yards beat the keeper inside his right post.

There was little doubt now that the managerial double act of O'Neill and Keane would enjoy a winning start and substitute Long made it 3-0 in the 79th minute, tapping in from close range following Seamus Coleman's cross.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (10)

Republic of Ireland

  • 16 Westwood
  • 02 Coleman
  • 17 Ward
  • 06 Whelan (Green - 81' )
  • 04 O'Shea
  • 03 Wilson
  • 07 McGeady (Reid - 73' )
  • 08 McCarthy (Doyle - 81' )
  • 10 Keane (Walters - 73' )
  • 20 Hoolahan (Long - 73' )
  • 11 McClean (Stokes - 81' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Forde
  • 05 St Ledger
  • 09 Long
  • 12 Kelly
  • 13 Walters
  • 14 Stokes
  • 15 Green
  • 19 Reid
  • 21 Doyle
  • 22 O'Brien
  • 23 Elliot
  • 24 Pearce

Latvia

  • 01 Vanins
  • 02 Maksimenko
  • 03 Rode Booked
  • 13 Gorkss
  • 04 Bulvitis Booked
  • 06 Gabovs Booked
  • 14 Rugins (Fertovs - 27' )
  • 15 Lazdins
  • 09 Verpakovskis (Visnakovs - 45' )
  • 10 Sabala (Turkovs - 62' )
  • 05 Laizans (Sinelnikovs - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Sinelnikovs
  • 08 Zigajevs
  • 11 Visnakovs
  • 12 Kolinko
  • 16 Kurakins
  • 17 Zjuzins
  • 18 Fertovs
  • 19 Kovalovs
  • 20 Turkovs
  • 23 Malins
Ref: Andreas Ekberg

Match Stats

Shots

21 3

On target

10 0

Corners

6 3

Fouls

10 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Latvia 0.

90:00 +3:09 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Latvia 0.

90:00 +3:00

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jonathan Walters.

90:00 +1:50 Booking

Booking Renars Rode (Latvia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +1:42

Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +1:42

Foul by Renars Rode (Latvia).

90:00 +1:22

Kevin Doyle (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:22

Foul by Nauris Bulvitis (Latvia).

90:00 +0:54

Offside, Latvia. Vladislavs Gabovs tries a through ball, but Eduards Visnakovs is caught offside.

90:00 +0:24

Foul by Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland).

90:00 +0:24

Daniils Turkovs (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:24

Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:24

Foul by Daniils Turkovs (Latvia).

88:02

Foul by Andy Reid (Republic of Ireland).

88:02

Alans Sinelnikovs (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:00

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Andris Vanins.

86:57

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Reid.

85:39

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

85:05 Booking

Booking Nauris Bulvitis (Latvia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

84:43

Anthony Stokes (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

84:43

Foul by Nauris Bulvitis (Latvia).

82:17

Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:17

Foul by Eduards Visnakovs (Latvia).

81:14

Attempt missed. Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

80:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Paul Green replaces Glenn Whelan.

80:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Kevin Doyle replaces James McCarthy.

80:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Anthony Stokes replaces James McClean.

78:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Republic of Ireland 3, Latvia 0. Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

77:04

Foul by Marc Wilson (Republic of Ireland).

77:04

Eduards Visnakovs (Latvia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

76:35

James McClean (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

76:35

Foul by Renars Rode (Latvia).

74:58

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Andris Vanins.

74:55

Attempt saved. Andy Reid (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Seamus Coleman.

72:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Shane Long replaces Wes Hoolahan.

72:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Jonathan Walters replaces Robbie Keane.

72:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Andy Reid replaces Aiden McGeady.

71:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Latvia. Alans Sinelnikovs replaces Juris Laizans.

70:55

Attempt saved. Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aiden McGeady.

68:50

Corner, Latvia. Conceded by Stephen Ward.

67:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Republic of Ireland 2, Latvia 0. Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

62:53

Attempt saved. Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

61:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Latvia. Daniils Turkovs replaces Valerijs Sabala.

60:20

Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:20

Foul by Artis Lazdins (Latvia).

59:04

Attempt blocked. Aleksandrs Fertovs (Latvia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juris Laizans.

57:11

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

57:06

Attempt blocked. Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Glenn Whelan.

55:41 Booking

Booking Vladislavs Gabovs (Latvia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

55:39

James McClean (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

55:39

Foul by Vladislavs Gabovs (Latvia).

55:10

Offside, Latvia. Valerijs Sabala tries a through ball, but Eduards Visnakovs is caught offside.

54:28

Attempt missed. Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Robbie Keane with a headed pass.

52:29

Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

52:29

Foul by Artis Lazdins (Latvia).

49:27

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Kaspars Gorkss.

49:24

Attempt blocked. Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James McCarthy.

48:15

Foul by Marc Wilson (Republic of Ireland).

48:15

Eduards Visnakovs (Latvia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

46:00

John O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:00

Foul by Eduards Visnakovs (Latvia).

45:26

Attempt missed. Aleksandrs Fertovs (Latvia) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Vladislavs Gabovs.

45:00

Second Half begins Republic of Ireland 1, Latvia 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Latvia. Eduards Visnakovs replaces Maris Verpakovskis.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Latvia 0.

45:00 +0:25

Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:25

Foul by Renars Rode (Latvia).

44:34

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stephen Ward.

41:20

James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

41:20

Foul by Valerijs Sabala (Latvia).

36:15

Attempt missed. James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

34:57

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Glenn Whelan.

33:48

Attempt missed. John O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stephen Ward with a cross.

33:13

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Renars Rode.

30:29

Foul by Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland).

30:29

Maris Verpakovskis (Latvia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Latvia. Aleksandrs Fertovs replaces Ritvars Rugins.

26:09

Offside, Latvia. Artis Lazdins tries a through ball, but Valerijs Sabala is caught offside.

25:31

Foul by Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland).

25:31

Maris Verpakovskis (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:39

Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:39

Foul by Ritvars Rugins (Latvia).

23:29

Foul by Marc Wilson (Republic of Ireland).

23:29

Maris Verpakovskis (Latvia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:16

Attempt saved. Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

21:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Republic of Ireland 1, Latvia 0. Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McClean with a headed pass following a corner.

20:47

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Kaspars Gorkss.

17:48

Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:48

Foul by Ritvars Rugins (Latvia).

13:13

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Vladislavs Gabovs.

11:35

Attempt saved. Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

10:57

Hand ball by Andris Vanins (Latvia).

9:35

Corner, Latvia. Conceded by Seamus Coleman.

9:18

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).

9:18

Juris Laizans (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:48

Attempt missed. Artis Lazdins (Latvia) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Juris Laizans with a cross following a corner.

6:19

Corner, Latvia. Conceded by Marc Wilson.

4:32

Offside, Republic of Ireland. Glenn Whelan tries a through ball, but James McClean is caught offside.

3:59

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).

3:59

Juris Laizans (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:36

Foul by Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland).

3:36

Maris Verpakovskis (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:30

Attempt blocked. James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

0:52

James McClean (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:52

Foul by Vladislavs Gabovs (Latvia).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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