The visiting UEFA EURO 2004™ finalists had led at the break through Maris Verpakovskis's third-minute strike. But after the interval goals from Szilárd Nemeth, Luboš Reiter and two from Miroslav Karhan saw the hosts seal a comprehensive win.
 Slovakia went into the game with victories over Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, and a creditable draw in Russia under their belts. However, coach Dusan Galis had approached the contest in a cautious, if optimistic, mood, naming a squad with only one change from the one that faced Liechtenstein last month.
 Latvia, meanwhile, were missing several key players. Influential defender Mihails Zemlinskis and forward Andrejs Prohorenkovs were suspended, while defenders Olegs Blagonadezdins, Igors Stepanovs and and Arturs Zakresevskis, as well as midfielder Andrejs Rubins, were all injured.
 Yet surprisingly, Latvia opened the scoring on just three minutes, Verpakovskis claiming his 15th international goal, volleying home after Valentins Lobanovs had flicked on Jurijs Laizans's corner.
 The early goal helped settle the guests' nerves, but soon Galis's side started to press forward in search of the equaliser. Latvian keeper Aleksandrs Kolinko had other ideas, however, saving brilliantly from Rastislav Michalík and Nemeth, while last month’s hat-trick hero, Robert Vittek, headed against the bar as the hosts heaped on the pressure.
 Latvia's resistance was finally broken in spectacular style within ten minutes of the restart. First substitute Reiter's 20-metre shot was deflected, falling for Nemeth to turn it into the empty net on 47 minutes. Then three minutes later Michalík crossed from the flank for Reiter to put the home side ahead. And on 55 minutes Karhan followed-up Kolinko's parry to score at the second attempt.
 Latvia were reeling, and though they refused to give up the fight for a point, Slovakia continued to carve out openings, with Michalík hitting the bar on 62 minutes. And Karhan finally completed the scoring on 87 minutes, driving home from distance past an unsighted Kolinko.