Jeff Hendrick 49th minute goal got Mick McCarthy’s second era off to victory in what was a disappointing 1-0 win over Gibraltar.
Ireland only managed nine shots throughout the game, in a game which was hampered by a gale force wind, but it highlighted the Ireland’s issues in the forward areas.
Hendrick’s goal gave Ireland the lead four minutes after the break with a fine passing move to create the opportunity.
Conor Hourihane picking out the run of McGoldrick, McGoldrick got after the through-ball before holding it up on the left.
Hendrick picked up the ball into the penalty area and side-footed his shot into the bottom right corner.
Ireland went into the Group D game with just one win in their previous 11 matches, however never kicked on to dominate the game.
Elsewhere in Group D, Switzerland beat Georgia 2-0 in Tbilisi. Ireland face Georgia in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night.