Latvia bounced back from defeat in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Croatia on Friday by comfortably overcoming Malta at the Ta' Qali National Stadium.
In what was the first competitive meeting between the two countries, goals from Kaspars Gorkss and Maris Verpakovskis were sufficient to get Latvia's Group F campaign up and running.
Defeat for Malta was their second in succession after falling to a 3-1 reverse against Israel in their opening qualifier four days ago.
The first half was a cagey affair with neither side in the mood to give their opponents any time to settle on the ball after the disappointment of the opening matchday.
Latvia always looked the side most likely to break the deadlock, however, and did just that three minutes before the break when skipper Gorkss, who plies his club trade for English outfit QPR, found the target with a towering header.
Malta rallied in the second half, with Shaun Bajada pulling the strings in midfield, but the Latvia backline remained resolute as the hosts drew a blank in front of goal.
Latvia doubled their margin of victory with six minutes remaining when Verpakovskis skinned Jonathan Caruana before firing home confidently beyond Andrew Hogg.
The two sides are next in qualifying action on October 8, when Malta visit Georgia and Latvia make the trip to Greece.