Ireland's hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 ended with a 1-1 draw at home to Denmark, but a disappointed Enda Stevens was able to take some positives from the performance.
Having failed to beat Denmark in the previous five encounters over the past 24 months and with just six goals in the previous seven outings in Group D, the visitors travelled in confidence of getting at least the draw which was all they required.
Mick McCarthy’s side however showed plenty of attacking intent and took the game to Denmark from the off. Despite entering the break 0-0, the home side created the better openings and upon the resumption kept up the pressure.
The Danes through Martin Braithwaite scored against the run of play, but Matt Doherty’s 85th minute equaliser had the home supporters off their feet, but they couldn’t find that all-important second goal.
Stevens, whose cross found Doherty at the back post to level the match, says it was a positive display from the Boys in Green.
"We just fell short in the end," he told RTÉ Sport. "We're gutted, I thought we did really well. We created chances, but our final ball just let us down in the big moments.
'We just fell short in the end. We were pushing for it, but the ball just never fell for us in the box' – Enda Stevens reflects on the 1-1 draw with Denmark #IRDEN #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/khjhvdjLfu— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 18, 2019
Was it Ireland’s best display of the qualifying campaign? "I think so. I think all the fans could see that we were giving it our all.
"We were pushing for it and the opportunities were there. The ball just never fell for us in the box, and when it did, we just didn’t seize on it.
"We went right to the death. We were disappointed that we conceded in the manner that we did, but we reacted well and got ourselves back into the game."