Republic of Ireland goalscorer John Egan admitted that the entire squad were left feeling "gutted" after a late brace from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a 2-1 win their World Cup qualifying clash at the Estadio Algarve.

Ronaldo became the all-time leading scorer in men's international football when he headed two late goals but it was a harsh result for Ireland, who looked for so long as if they would claim a surprise win.

Gavin Bazunu saved a first-half penalty before Egan headed Ireland into a shock lead from a corner on the stroke of half-time after Diogo Jota had hit the post for the hosts.

Ireland dug deep and produced the best performance of the Stephen Kenny era, but ultimately came away with nothing.

"It’s honestly gutting, we’re all gutted inside there," Egan told RTÉ Sport afterwards.

"To put in that performance away from home against such a world class team, with one of the best players ever in it, we really felt like there was something there for us tonight.

"To walk away with nothing is very disappointing.

"I suppose we’ll look back on it as a really good performance, I’m just gutted not to get a result."

The Sheffield United player added: "We've got another game. It’s a quick turn-around and we have to dust ourselves off quickly and we have to build on this.

"We had a really good camp in the summer, a couple of really good performances and we’ve backed that up with a really good performance here.

"We didn’t get the result, which is obviously gutting with how the game went, but we can keep building, we can keep improving and I’m sure there is a lot more to come from us."

Egan’s goal was his first for his country and came about from a clever corner-kick routine and while it was a special moment for him, the result of the game took much of the gloss away.

"I usually go around the back but Duffy or someone said just get around the front this time," he said.

"I just managed to get across the front, the ball was perfect, got a glancing header and it was right in front of the mum as well, so it was special.

"It’s just heartbreaking really that we couldn’t get a result.

"We caused them problems all night, Adam Idah lead the line unbelievably. He’s up against two world class centre-halves and he absolutely dominated them from start to finish.

"We created openings on the counter, it was a fantastic performance and we’re just devastated not to get a result."