Ciaran Clark and substitute Wes Hoolahan were both on target as the Republic of Ireland secured a 2-0 friendly win over Poland at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.
The hosts started slowly but stole ahead on 35 minutes when Clark pounced to tuck home the rebound after Artur Boruc had foiled Shane Long's close range effort from a corner.
The Poles dominated for long spells in the first half and felt they should have had a spot-kick when Clark appeared to trip the lively Robert Lewandowski just before the interval.
However, Ireland improved following the break and after debutant Conor Sammon went close they sealed victory courtesy of Hoolahan's composed finish 14 minutes from time.
The Republic came into the encounter having lost three of their previous four home games, including a 6-1 reversal in a World Cup qualifier against Group C favourites Germany.
With next month's crunch showdown with Sweden creeping ever closer, a confidence-booster was high on the agenda as they welcomed the Poles to the capital.
Giovanni Trapattoni used the match to give some of his more inexperienced players a run out and they struggled in the early stages as the visitors dominated.
First, a mistake by David Forde presented the ball to Ludovic Obraniak who then saw his fizzing effort deflect just past the upright.
Next, Lewandowski was sent clear on the half hour mark but he saw his dinked attempt rebound back off the knee of Forde.
The Borussia Dortmund star was a constant threat in the first half and forced another good stop out of the Ireland keeper with a low shot from the left side of the area.
It looked like there was only one side in it until Ireland won a corner on 35 minutes. Clark headed the ball down for Shane Long who saw his close range shot blocked by Boruc, only for the Aston Villa defender to follow up and guide the loose ball into the far corner.
The opening goal gave Ireland a huge lift but they were still lucky to escape a big penalty shout when Clark appeared to trip Lewandowski just moments later.
The hosts had ridden the storm in the first 45 but improved after the break and almost made it two when James McCarthy forced a good save out of substitute keeper Wojciech Szczesny with a 30-yarder.
Sammon then wasted a gilt-edged chance to make it two when his heavy touch let him down following a mistake by the Polish defence.
The visitors had lost their momentum and it was no surprise when Ireland clinched victory on 76 minutes.
Substitute Jeff Hendrick clipped a pass in to Hoolahan who kept his nerve and drilled a low shot into the corner to send the home support wild.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Ciaran Clark, Republic of Ireland - Capped an impressive display at the back with his first goal for Ireland.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Forde 7, McShane 6, O'Shea 6, Clark 8, Cunningham 7; Brady 6, McCarthy 7, Whelan 6, McClean 6, Sammon 6, Long 6. SUBS: Walters 5, Cox 5, Hendrick 7, Green 6, Hoolahan 7, Keogh. R 5.
POLAND: Boruc 6, Perquis 6, Glik 5, Boenisch 6, Wawrzyniak 6, Lukasik 6, Krychowiak 6, Blaszczykowski 6, Obraniak 6, Pawlowski 6, Lewandowski 7. Subs: Szczesny 6, Mierzejewski 5, Grosicki 6, Milik 5, Wasilewski 5.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ciaran Clark
- Wes Hoolahan
- the Republic of Ireland
- Robert Lewandowski
- Artur Boruc
- Conor Sammon