As it did last year, Munster's European journey ends against Toulouse.

But that barely begins to tell the story of one of the Heineken Champions Cup's most gripping days.

After 100 minutes of rugby it all came down to six men. In red: Conor Murray, Ben Healy and Joey Carbery. In white: Antoine Dupont, Thomas Ramos and Romain Ntamack. Each with two kicks at goal, and the best of six through to the semi-final.

It was just the second such shootout in the competition's 27 year history - 13 years on from Leicester's win against Cardiff.

Martyn Williams and Cardiff suffered heartbreak that day, and today it was Munster's turn. While Toulouse went four from four to start the shootout, Healy and Murray both saw strikes drift wide, trailing 4-2.

And with Healy needing to score his second attempt, all of 40 metres out from goal and 15 metres in from the right touchline, he curled it left and wide, a nail-biting, exhilarating and heartbreaking end to a gripping contest.

A crowd of 40,476 turned the Aviva Stadium red, and in rugby terms, were given full value for their money. Three tries apiece, Munster's coming from Alex Kendellen, Keith Earls and Mike Haley saw the lead chop back and forth throughout the first 80 minutes.

Munster led by 10 with 20 minutes to play, but Toulouse responded as only champions can, a Matthis Lebel try (his second) and a late Ramos penalty sending us to extra-time.

And despite the flurry of drop-goal attempts in the final stages of the 100 minutes, it all came down to the kicking tee, Johann van Graan's Champions Cup hopes with Munster ended by the most unlikely of outcomes.

The opening minutes wet the beak, a sample of the weapons both teams possessed.

For Munster, it was the ground game of Peter O'Mahony and Kendellen, who combined for a fifth-minute penalty under their own their own posts, and the pace of Earls, who chased down a Murray box-kick to force a knock-on.

On the Toulouse side, it was their ability to play wide and fast, Delibes scampering inside to force a break down the left wing, and the physicality of their pack, with Emmanuel Meafu's tackle into the stomach of Murray reminding the Munster scrum-half what he had for breakfast.

It was from the resulting scrum that Munster forced their first try. After kicking a penalty to the corner, they showed to the maul, before peeling off the back to the onrushing O'Donoghue. The Waterford man carried hard towards the line, before another good drive from Kleyn brought them closer. And with the penalty advantage being played, it was Kendellen who made the decisive carry, forcing his way over the line.

Carbery's conversion made it 7-0, but Toulouse being Toulouse, they levelled the game within seconds.

Centre Pierre Fouyssac cut the Munster defence open from midfield, and with the home side scrambling, the visitors had an overlap and shifted it out to Ntamack.

The out-half almost made a mess of it, dropping the pass, but the mistake was ultimately the making of the try, with the spillage keeping it out of reach of Mike Haley, and Ntamack collecting the loose ball to dive over the line, before Ramos's conversion made it 7-7.

The quick scores raised the tempo of the contest, leading to a period of fast, chaotic rugby, which, bit by bit, was playing into Toulouse hands. When Rodrigue Neti cut through Stephen Archer at a scrum, it led to territory and a further penalty.

And while Munster stopped the Toulouse maul, their scrum was conceding penalties. This time Archer could well argue his case that Neti was charging in at an angle, but the penalty went to the visitors.

Another scrum on 25 minutes, and another advantage Toulouse's way, but this time simple hands was enough, passing their way from one side of the pitch the the other for Lebel to dive over, a second try converted by Ramos to make it 14-7 to the five-time champions.

Munster couldn't find a rhythm. A half-break from Earls was offloaded to Haley, who knocked on, and a penalty later they were back defending their own line. A stolen lineout from O'Mahony led to a penalty in front of the posts for Carbery on 32 minutes, pulled to the left and wide. A chip over the top from De Allende flew out on the full. The looked frustrated.

But the difference between Munster of now and the Munster of earlier this season is persistence. Things weren't working, but they continued to play, and eventually got their reward two minutes from half time.

Chris Farrell started it, grubbering down the touchline and chasing his own work down to force Lebel into touch. Off the lineout, hard carries from De Allende and Kendellen concentrated the attack, and although there was a penalty advantage coming it took wonderful handling from Josh Wycherley to keep the play alive after a less-than-generous pass from O'Donoghue.

Close to the line, Farrell took a hard line off Murray's shoulder and charged hard, but threw a soft offload to Carbery just as the defence braced for contact. With defenders sucked in, the out-half floated a pass to the waiting Earls, who touched down to score.

The floated conversion from Carbery raised the flags, both of the assistants and the Munster fans. All square, 14-14 as the players caught their half time breath.

Two minutes after the restart, and a missed opportunity as Carbery sent a second penalty wide, the turnover having been won by a ferocious Kendellen tackle as he swallowed up Dupont.

It proved to be a saving grace. While they missed out on three points they bagged a try moments later.

After Zebo collected an up and under, Munster moved the ball wide with Carbery running the hands to Farrell. The centre spotted forward Rynhardt Elstadt in front of him, and stepped on the gas to get around the South African and open up the 22 in front of him.

Farrell delayed his pass a fraction, enough time to suck in one more defender, before playing in Haley who just about made it across the line, with a third Carbery conversion pushing Munster back in front 21-14.

With 30 minutes left, the Toulouse frustrations spilled over, and it led to a yellow card, lock Rory Arnold sent to the bin for a dangerous tackle on Zebo, the Australian late hit lifting the Munster man above the horizontal and dumping him into the ground. An easy decision for referee Luke Pearce to make.

If there was a difference between the two sides in the opening 55 minutes, it was Munster's handling of Dupont. An earlier Kendellen tackle on the scrum-half had led to one of Carbery's missed penalties, before the flanker teamed up with his back row partners O'Mahony and O'Donoghue to swarm on the the 'petit general' like seagulls on a chip, to force another turnover.

The sight of Dupont's feet held up in the air as the reinforcements piled in brought to mind Sebastien Chabal at Thomond Park in 2006, feeling the full force of O'Callaghan and O'Connell. Nowhere to go but backwards.

They were starting to get the rub of the green too. Murray's over-cooked box-kick was knocked on my Maxime Medard under no pressure, and shortly after the resulting scrum came a penalty in front of the posts, this time Carbery making no mistake to push the lead out to 24-14.

Munster were tiring. In the last 10 minutes they were pinned back in their own 22, and defending for their lives. John Ryan stuck out a hand and forced a knock-on, but again their scrum troubles came back to haunt them, Toulouse winning a penalty and Ramos calling for the tee.

His kick was a difficult one, especially under such pressure, but the full-back held his nerve to split the posts, and make it a level game at 24-24 with less than five minutes for someone to find a winner.

Twice in those final minutes Munster nervously held their own at the scrum, before forcing a penalty in the final minute, 56 metres out. Ben Healy fancied a go with his hammer of a right foot, but it wasn't to be, his kick dropping to the left as Luke Pearce blew the final whistle for extra time.

Two periods of 10 minutes, and the feeling that any mistake would be be crucial.

Munster started brightest and a big carry from Ahern gave them momentum, before another poor De Allende kick saw it fizzle out.

Then the Toulouse chance - a lineout into a maul, and a break off the side from Peato Mauvaka, but Munster's defence held firm, and Dupont kicked it out for half-time. Ten minutes for someone to find a winning score. Ten minutes to go until penalty kicks.

For a moment, it looked like Munster would take it, O'Donoghue's penalty leading to a 22 entry, and a drop-goal attempt pulled wide by Healy.

The consolation prize was a scrum, but it only ended with a Toulouse penalty, and a march up the field. With three minutes of extra time to play, Ramos lined up his drop-goal, but just like Healy he snatched it wide and left.

There was still time for Healy to have his second go at the posts with the final act of the game, but this time he pushed it to the right. Penalties it would be.

Three on three; Murray and Dupont in front of the sticks, Carbery and Ntamack 15 metres in from the left touchline, and Healy with Ramos on the right.

The first two were straightforward, Murray and Dupont easily trapping over, before Healy snatched his kick wide.

On the second go - this time further out - Murray's strike came to the left, and when Dupont split the posts it left Munster on the brink. Healy and Carbery would both have to score, and the Toulouse pair would have to miss to prolong the shootout.

But Healy's strike was off target, and decided the outcome. The Toulouse celebrations muted and respectful, as one of the great European contests was finally settled.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Simon Zebo; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Peter O'Mahony, Alex Kendellen, Jack O'Donoghue

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Jason Jenkins, Thomas Ahern, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Jack Daly

Toulouse: Thomas Ramos; Dimitri Delibes, Pierre Fouyssac, Pita Ahki, Matthis Lebel; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Rodrigue Neti, Julian Marchand (captain), Dorian Aldegheri, Rory Arnold, Emmanuel Meafou, Rynhardt Elstadt, Thibaud Flament, Francois Cros

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Cyril Baille, David Ainu'u, Joe Tekori, Selevasio Tolofua, Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Germain, Maxime Medard

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)