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Played
November 15, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
Aviva Stadium — Dublin
Referee:‬ A. Ekberg‎
Attendance:‬ 37100‎
 
22′ Robbie Keane
 
 
80′ Shane Long
 
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Aiden McGeady
Aiden McGeady
Republic of Ireland
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

Republic of Ireland 3-0 Latvia: O’Neill & Keane era off to a flying start

The hosts dominated proceedings as the new manager saw his side cruise to victory, with the former Tottenham striker continuing his fine international form with another strike

Pete Thompson

Robbie Keane scored his 62nd international goal as Martin O'Neill's reign as Republic of Ireland boss started with a 3-0 win over Latvia.

O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane would have seen plenty of encouraging signs in a dominant display against a poor Latvia side on Friday.

Keane scored the first goal of the O'Neill era with a typical poacher's finish from close range and Ireland's all-time leading scorer could easily have helped himself to a hat-trick.

Aiden McGeady made the most of his recall to the starting line-up by scoring a second goal and Shane Long added a third 11 minutes from time as Latvia showed just why they are ranked 117th in the world.

A trip to Poland on Tuesday should give O'Neill a better indication of the task he has on his hands ahead of the UEFA European Championships qualifying campaign.

O'Neill made six changes to the team that beat Kazakhstan last month, with wingers McGeady and James McClean among those to be given a chance from the start.

Latvia coach Marian Pahars, meanwhile, brought in goalkeeper Andris Vanins at the expense of veteran Aleksandrs Kolinko as one of four changes following the draw with Slovakia.

Midfielder James McCarthy could have opened the scoring after just two minutes, with his venomous volley looking destined for the back of the net until it struck John O'Shea in a congested penalty area.

Vanins then escaped a booking when he handled outside the area after 11 minutes and redeemed himself by thwarting Keane after the resulting free-kick was well worked to allow the striker a shot on goal.

Keane was not to be denied 10 minutes later, though, when he struck from close range after McGeady's corner was flicked into his path by McClean.

The LA Galaxy man almost doubled Ireland's lead two minutes later as Latvia defenders backed off, but his measured right-foot strike was palmed away by the agile Vanins.

Ireland continued to enjoy plenty of possession in the second half, but were wasteful in the final third. McClean should have done better 12 minutes after the break when he blazed over the crossbar after Wes Hoolahan picked him out.

The elusive second goal finally arrived after 67 minutes when McGeady capitalised on a sloppy pass and beat Sion keeper Vanins at his near post with a right-foot strike from 25 yards out.

And an unmarked Long got on the end of Seamus Coleman's cross to tuck home a third 11 minutes from time with Latvia's defence at sixes and sevens.

Vanins then produced a fine fingertip save to keep out Anthony Stokes' rising shot late on as Ireland secured a comfortable win.


Republic of Ireland

20
Keiren Westwood
Goalkeeper
2.50
12
Marc Wilson
Defender
3.00
11
Stephen Ward
Defender
2.00
16
John O'Shea
Defender
3.00
7
Aiden McGeady
Midfielder
68′ 72′
4.00
23
Seamus Coleman
Midfielder
80′
3.50
-
James McClean
Midfielder
22′ 80′
3.50
16
James McCarthy
Midfielder
81′
2.50
6
Glenn Whelan
Midfielder
81′
3.50
14
Wesley Hoolahan
Midfielder
73′
3.50
7
Robbie Keane
Striker
22′ 73′
3.00

Latvia

2.50
-
Andrejs Vanins
Goalkeeper
3.00
17
2.00
-
2.00
-
3.00
-
2.00
-
2.50
6
Artis Lazdins
Midfielder
2.00
-
Juris Laizans
Midfielder
72′
1.50
25
2.00
9
2.50
-

Substitutes

21
Rob Elliot
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
David Forde
Goalkeeper
 - 
26
Alex Pearce
Defender
 - 
17
 - 
12
 - 
2
 - 
4
Paul Green
Midfielder
81′
2.00
21
Shane Long
Striker
73′ 80′
3.00
10
2.50
19
2.50
29
2.00
5
Andy Reid
Midfielder
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
A. Kurakins
Defender
2.00
-
 - 
-
1.50
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
2.00
-
3.00
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
A. Pulido A. Pulido
Striker
Tigres
4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
Striker
San Jose Earthquakes
3 0
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 0
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
Striker
Wolfsburg
2 0