The Republic of Ireland's youthful side answered Giovanni Trapattoni's call as a solid display earned a 0-0 draw against Serbia in Belgrade.
James McCarthy and James McClean both competed well in midfield with Keiren Westwood reassuring in goal.
Jonathan Walters did miss chances in both halves with Aiden McGeady denied by Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
Westwood saved efforts from Aleksandar Kolarov and Zdravko Kuzmanovic as the Republic regrouped following Euro 2012.
Following Shay Given's international retirement and the absence of regulars Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane and Damien Duff, Trapattoni gave youth a chance at the Red Star Stadium with McCarthy and McClean among the starters.
Trapattoni also moved away from his normal rigid 4-4-2 line-up with Glenn Whelan operating between defence and midfield and Walters as a lone frontman.
With McGeady starting in his regular left wing berth, McClean partnered McCarthy in central midfield in the first half as the Republic of Ireland manager indulged in some uncharacteristic tinkering.
Amid a low-key atmosphere, the Republic looked reasonably compact early on with McCarthy producing some crisp passes.
Upcoming Rep of Ireland fixtures
- 7 Sept: World Cup qualifier v Kazakhstan (away)
- 11 Sept: Friendly v Oman (Craven Cottage)
- 12 Oct: World Cup qualifier v Germany (home)
- 16 Oct: World Cup qualifier v Faroe Islands (away)
However, the Wigan midfielder gifted the Serbians a chance in the 18th minute as he lost possession on the edge of his own penalty before Kolarov's shot was blocked.
As the pace lifted, Kolarov tested Westwood with a long-range effort a minute later but the Republic's response saw them missing the best chance of the first half as Walters saw his shot blocked by Milan Bisevac after a Simon Cox burst.
Whelan nearly caught Serbian keeper Stojkovic off his line with a lobbed effort in the 28th minute, but Darren O'Dea then had to produce a perfectly-timed challenge to dispossess Dusan Tadic as the hosts threatened at the other end.
Tadic was a danger on a couple of occasions after the restart with Cox producing a timely challenge as the FC Twente player threatened to pull the trigger in the 47th minute.
The Serbians claimed for a penalty in the 53rd minute after Paul McShane appeared to handle but the Irish were continuing to compete well in midfield after the engine room woes of Euro 2012.
Walters went close in the 55th minute as he flicked a McClean cross just wide after McGeady's initial midfield thrust.
A superb McCarthy challenge in midfield then set up a chance for McGeady on 63 minutes which forced Stojkovic to make a smart save.
Westwood's encouraging display continued as he scampered across his line to save a Kuzmanovic free-kick on 71 minutes.
Nemanja Tomic fired over from long range late on but the Republic were worth their draw.
- 01 Stojkovic
- 04 Bisevac (Maksimovic - 46' )
- 05 Mattija Nastasic
- 06 Ivanovic
- 11 Kolarov
- 07 Tosic (Tomic - 81' )
- 16 Mijailovic (Ninkovic - 63' )
- 17 Ignjovski
- 19 Tadic (Duricic - 63' )
- 22 Kuzmanovic (Basta - 81' )
- 09 Lekic (Markovic - 46' )
- 13 Kahriman
- 23 Brkic
- 03 Maksimovic
- 18 Basta
- 20 Subotic
- 08 Duricic
- 10 Ninkovic
- 14 Tomic
- 15 Radovanovic
- 21 Markovic
Rep of Ireland
- 01 Westwood
- 02 Kelly
- 04 O'Shea
- 15 O'Dea
- 21 McShane
- 06 Whelan Booked (Green - 60' )
- 07 McGeady (Coleman - 78' )
- 11 McClean (Keogh - 69' )
- 18 McCarthy
- 12 Walters (O'Brien - 78' )
- 14 Cox
- 16 Forde
- 23 Randolph
- 05 O'Brien
- 17 Coleman
- 22 Delaney
- 13 Green
- 10 Long
- 20 Keogh