Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was left feeling proud of his players and the nature of their performance after they were denied a place in the Euro 2020 play-off final, losing to Slovakia on penalties.
Ireland dominated the game in Bratislava for long periods but were unable to find that crucial breakthrough as the game finished 0-0 after extra-time.
Alan Browne hit the woodwork in extra-time while Conor Hourihane had a shot cleared off the line in the 90 minutes but that vital goal eluded Ireland.
Browne then had a penalty saved while Matt Doherty rattled the crossbar with his decisive effort, but despite watching his side's European hopes end, Kenny was full of praise for his players.
"I think they really showed great qualities as men and as Irishmen," he said. "They showed themselves to be a real team, there was a tremendous team ethic and everyone did as much as they could tonight.
"As the game progressed I felt we were in the ascendancy and we looked like we really wanted to win it. We had some good chances we just couldn't score that goal we needed.
"Right at the end of the game as well and in extra-time [we had chances].
"I don't know whether you can say it was bad luck but the players didn't deserve to lose the game they gave absolutely everything of themselves.
"The work rate was phenomenal and the work rate to try and win and get to the final was very evident. It's a cruel way to lose on penalty kicks.
"I thought we defended very well all night and it was just that one block that Shane Duffy made off the line. We created some good chances with good forward play and David McGoldrick was absolutely outstanding at times.
"I'm really disappointed for the players because they deserved better and I can't really ask any more of them," he added.
Duffy, who was an immense presence at the back for Ireland and saved them in the second-half when he cleared a shot from Lukas Haraslin was also left to bemoan his side's inability to find the net.
"It's hard to put it into words. It's never nice to lose on penalties. It's a tough one to take at the minute," he said.
"We created plenty of chances, the ball just didn't drop for us. It was one of those games that went the whole way. both teams cancelled each other out in the end. It's heartbreaking and disappointing."