Sport Martin O’Neill (right) and Roy Keane watch their team make a winning start

It was one of those curious nights when events on the sidelines were always going to be more telling than those on the pitch, but Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane can at least take plenty of encouragement from a statement first win in charge of the Republic of Ireland. The new regime got off to a fine start with a commanding win over Latvia.

Five who can thrive

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Fears over McAteer

Football: Arsenal's ambition checked by Keane

Coventry City 3 Arsenal 2

Football: Heskey's highlight

oventry City 0 Leicester City 1 Heskey 60 Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 22,021

Football: Keane compounds Gregory's misery

Coventry City 2 Aston Villa 1

Football: McCarthy bemoans bad luck of the Irish

GREEN WAS the colour; and if the pallor of one or two Republic of Ireland players matched their shirts on a rough crossing over the Marmara Sea back to Istanbul after Wednesday's goal-less draw in Bursa, it will soon be replaced by the green eye of envy as they contemplate a summer watching Turkey, England, Slovenia and the rest competing in the European Championship finals.

Football: Tayfur's leveller leaves Irish in limbo trouble

t EURO 2000 PLAY-OFFS Trip to Turkey presents tough task for McCarthy's men after late penalty cancels out Robbie Keane's goal

Football: Carsley puts Irish in spot of bother

Euro 2000 play-offs: Republic of Ireland 1 Turkey 1 Robbie Keane 79 Tayfur pen 83 Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 33,610: Turkish penalty cancels out Robbie Keane's strike in dramatic late finale

Football: Froggatt fluffs chance to impress Keegan

Bradford City 1 Mills 43 Coventry City 1 McAllister 1 Half-time: 1-1 Attendance: 17,587

Football: Hurricane Hadji happens

Coventry City 1

Football: Hateley sacked by Ross County for being a jinx

MARK HATELEY'S attempt to relaunch his playing career with Scottish Second Division side Ross County has collapsed in acrimony after the Dingwall club decided to release him after less than a fortnight.

Football: Young Keane holds the key

THERE IS not much Niall Quinn does not know about international football, what with his 70 caps for the Republic of Ireland. But even he admits that he has something to learn from Robbie Keane and will be hoping for another master class from the 19-year-old prodigy against Malta here tonight.

Football: Hammers hit by double European blow

WEST HAM have been fined a total of pounds 12,000 by Uefa for two unrelated offences committed during their successful InterToto Cup campaign.

Football: Baying Wolves at Richards' door

Football: Molineux managing director is bearing the brunt of supporters' frustration at dismal start to the season

Football: Yorke settles Keane rivalry

Coventry City 1 Manchester United 2
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