Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu had another night to remember in his burgeoning career, saving a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, but admitted that last-gasp defeat to Portugal was "heartbreaking".
The 19-year-old shot stopper denied Ronaldo from the penalty spot, making a stunning first-half save and his side looked to be heading to an unlikely victory thanks to a John Egan goal.
However, the 36-year-old Ronaldo had the last word with two late headed goals to snatch victory for Portugal and to see him reach a record 111 international goals.
The result means manager Stephen Kenny remains without a competitive win with Ireland, who sit joint bottom of Group A with Azerbaijan, who they face on Saturday, with no points from three games.
🇵🇹 2-1 🇮🇪— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) September 1, 2021
Gavin Bazunu may have saved a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo but the 19-year-old said it was a 'heart-breaking' defeat in Portugal. 'We probably deserved a bit more but that's how football goes sometimes'
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"Heartbreaking is the word," said Bazunu afterwards.
"All we had to do was hold out for another five or six minutes and we would have grabbed at least a point from the game.
"The way we defended as a group, the resilience we showed, the character we showed and all the new lads coming on like Andrew (Omobamidele) coming on and making his debut, we probably deserved a bit more from the game but that's how football goes.
"As hard as it’s going to be, we just have to put this behind us and focus on the next game.
"It’s a quick turnaround and we can’t do anything to affect this game, it’s over, it’s done with and we have to move on and focus on three points in the next game."
🇵🇹 0-0 🇮🇪— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) September 1, 2021
15' Gavin Bazunu saves Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty to deny the Portuguese captain a world-record international goal!
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Despite the defeat, Bazunu further enhanced his growing reputation and his penalty save from Ronaldo showed just what a talent he is.
Reflecting on the spot-kick, he said: "My first emotion was just disappointment at giving it away, it was my fault for the penalty but I just tried to stay calm.
"There was a lot of time between the penalty being awarded and taken so I just tried to stay calm and trust my gut.
"I was just focused from the clips I watched on what I though he was going to do and just stick to the side I was going to."