Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill hailed Daryl Horgan on his international debut but was left to bemoan some slack defending as his side were beaten 1-0 by Iceland.

Iceland edged to a tight victory over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, ending a three-year unbeaten run at home for O’Neill’s side.

Ireland were largely disappointing throughout although the second half introduction of Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle, Eunan O’Kane and Callum O’Dowda provided a lift and saw Ireland improve.

O'Neill singled out Horgan for particular praise and his pace and aggressive running, along with his crossing, caused problems for Iceland.

"Horgan, I felt put in some fantastic balls in there but we need to score a goal from them," O’Neill told RTÉ after the match

"I think for those little moments, Horgan has got to be very pleased.

"He’s come on there, he’s gone wide and put in some really great balls, so for the length of time he was on the pitch that was a really great contribution."

The Ireland manager did admit disappointment with the nature of the goal his side conceded however.

Hordur Magnusson’s 22nd-minute free-kick was enough to win the game but his shot was helped by a soft Irish wall and the fact that Jeff Hendrick and Connor Hourihane failed to jump to block the shot.

"I’m not too pleased with the way we set up out wall and I think we should do a wee bit better," the Ireland boss said.

"Games are being decided on set-pieces, which we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years.

"If you keep that out of the equation then there’s a fairly decent chance you can come out with something from the game.

"On Friday night anything that Wales threw at us in terms of set pieces we actually dealt with. Tonight that was disappointing.

"That said I can’t remember Iceland causing us too many problems aside from that, but we have to cause them problems."

Reflecting on the game as a whole, O’Neill was left to rue a poor first half display and added: "We did make a lot of changes particularly in the second half, although I thought our second half was very decent.

"The first half you could nearly write off but overall some players came out of it with decent credit."