Stephen Kenny chose Evan Ferguson to make his first senior international start as well as Caoimhin Kelleher started in goal.
Ireland opened the scoring after five minutes when Even Ferguson played the ball wide right which found the path of Smallbone whose cross to the back post was met by Callum O’Dowda as he headed past Šteinbors.
Evan Ferguson was to score his first international goal as an initial cross to the back post was not dealt with by the Latvian defence as Obafemi kept it in play to put the ball into the path of Ferguson who slotted home from six yards.
Latvia had an opportunity to reduce the deficit as Gutkovskis got free from the Irish defence but his half-volley failed to trouble Kelleher as it went wide. Alan Browne forced a good save from Šteinbors as he broke from midfield and cut onto his left as his effort was well stopped.
Callum O’Dowda forced a corner when his attempt on goal from a volley following Smallbones’ cross could only be parried wide by Šteinbors. Smallbone was to go close with his attempt on the edge of the Latvian box but his effort just went wide of the post.
Latvia was to reduce the score as Roberts Uldriķis scored from outside the Irish area that struck the top corner of the net in what was a well-taken goal by the Latvian striker.
They were then to equalise just on the stroke of half time as Ireland was attempting to clear a free kick that saw Zjuzins strike a low effort from the edge of the area that took a deflection en route to the goal.
Both Gutkovskis and Ferguson had attempts on goal early in the second half but neither effort tested the keeper. Ireland continued to press but found it hard to make the breakthrough Ireland was to regain the lead following a break down the left that saw Michael Johnston strike the post before Chiedozie Ogbene slotted home the rebound moments after coming on.
Johnston was to go close to scoring a fourth for the home side as he cut inside the area but for his effort en route to goal took a deflection to set it wide for a corner.
Ireland plays their first qualification match next Monday where they face France at the Aviva Stadium as Stephen Kenny and his side make their first steps for qualification to Germany in 2024.
Republic of Ireland: Kelleher, Omobomidele (Egan 62), Collins, O'Shea; Doherty © (Ogbene 62), Browne, Molumby, O'Dowda (McClean 76), Smallbone (Hendrick 82); Obafemi (Johnson 62), Ferguson (Parrott 72).
Subs not used: Bazunu (GK), Travers (GK), Egan, Cullen, Hendrick, Keane, Knight, McGrath, Sykes.
Latvia: Šteinbors (GK), Sorokins, Černomordijs ©, Tobers, Balodis (M. Ošs 46), Gutkovskis (Krollis 56), J. Ikaunieks (Jaunzems 65), Savaļnieks, Cigaņiks (Varslavāns 71), Zjuzins (Saveljevs 71), Uldriķis (D. Ikaunieks 81).
Subs not used: Ozols (GK), Puriņš (GK), Dubra, Toņiševs, Stuglis, Birka, Dašķevičs.
Player of the Match: Will Smallbone.
Referee: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)