Ireland cruised to a 3-0 victory over Finland in Helsinki tonight with Arsenal's Graham Barrett netting on his senior debut. Robbie Keane put Ireland 1-0 up in the 12th minutes after excellent build-up work from Mark Kinsella and Damien Duff left him with the simplest of tap-ins.

Although the Leeds man could not add to his own tally, Colin Healy and Graham Barrett both did late on, each collecting their first international goals, the latter just seven minutes after being introduced for his debut.

Ireland had the better of the first half in terms of possession and territory but numerous second half substitutes affected the rhythm of the game and Ireland's dominance. Liverpool's Jari Litmanen was a major source of danger for Finland and after creating space for himself on the edge of the area he curled a shot just wide with Kiely beaten. His next shot clipped the top of the bar, although this time Kiely was in control of the situation.

Meanwhile, Healy's Celtic future has been questioned lately but if Hoops chief Martin O'Neill had been among the 12,000 crowd in the Olympic Stadium tonight he would already be pencilling the midfielder into his team sheet. His first telling contribution was to crack home Rory Delap's nod back from Stephen McPhail's far post cross.

That strike sealed the win, but Healy was not done. He then took Kilbane's cross-field pass in his stride, before embarking on a dangerous run into the area which was only halted when Barrett whipped the ball off his foot to ram home one of the quickest debut goals in Irish history and wrap up an excellent win.

Elsewhere, Ireland's opponents in their first European Championship qualifier, Russia, drew 1-1 with Sweden.

Filed by Johnny Proby