Match ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Latvia 0.
Republic of Ireland 3-0 Latvia
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.
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.
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.
R. of Ireland
- 6WhelanSubstituted forGreenat 81'minutes
- 7McGeadySubstituted forReidat 73'minutes
- 8McCarthySubstituted forDoyleat 81'minutes
- 10KeaneSubstituted forWaltersat 73'minutes
- 20HoolahanSubstituted forLongat 73'minutes
- 11McCleanSubstituted forStokesat 81'minutes
- 5St Ledger
- 3RodeBooked at 90mins
- 4BulvitisBooked at 86mins
- 6GabovsBooked at 56mins
- 14RuginsSubstituted forFertovsat 27'minutes
- 9VerpakovskisSubstituted forVisnakovsat 45'minutes
- 10SabalaSubstituted forTurkovsat 62'minutes
- 5LaizansSubstituted forSinelnikovsat 72'minutes
- Andreas Ekberg
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Latvia 0.
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.
Renars Rode (Latvia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Renars Rode (Latvia).
Kevin Doyle (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nauris Bulvitis (Latvia).
Offside, Latvia. Vladislavs Gabovs tries a through ball, but Eduards Visnakovs is caught offside.
Foul by Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland).
Daniils Turkovs (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daniils Turkovs (Latvia).
Foul by Andy Reid (Republic of Ireland).
Alans Sinelnikovs (Latvia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Andris Vanins.
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.
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.
Nauris Bulvitis (Latvia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Anthony Stokes (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.