A goal after 86 seconds from Aiden McGeady set Ireland on their way early. McGeady was fed by Kevin Doyle, who later went off with what appears to be a serious knee injury, before cutting inside and beating the goalkeeper at the near post.

The goalkeeper looked unconvincing throughout the game and Ireland had obviously been encouraged to shoot on sight as they took every opportunity to do so.

Irish fans didn't have to wait for long before the lead was doubled. A Darron Gibson freekick once more exposed the frailties of the Macedonian goalkeeper who fumbled the ball within his six yard box. Like all international strikers should do, Robbie Keane followed in the freekick and tapped home the rebound in front of the diving goalkeeper.

Ireland were cruising at this stage as the Macedonians looked to have little interest.

Both sides played out a drab first half until Goran Pandev turned Richard Dunne inside the Irish half and placed the ball past Kieran Westwood in the far corner.

This made for a nervous second half when Macedonia the much better of the chances. Westwood was on hand on numerous occasions to prevent the Macedonians from stealing a point from the Aviva Stadium.

Kevin Doyle has already been ruled out of Tuesday's friendly with Uruguay.

Richard Dunne was booked and will receive a one game suspension for the next qualifier.

James McCarthy made his first competitive appearance, coming on late for Robbie Keane, for Ireland meaning that he can no longer play for Scotland.

Robbie Keane equaled Andy Townsend captaining Ireland for the 40th time.