Republic of Ireland frontman Adam Idah admitted to being disappointed by his side's 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw at home to Azerbaijan, insisting it was a game they should have won.
Ireland dominated the game for long periods but a lack of composure and quality in the final third meant that they didn’t get the rewards that the rest of their play may have deserved.
Shane Duffy’s 87th-minute header, his fifth international goal, cancelled out Emin Makhmudov’s stunning first-half strike and belatedly opened Ireland’s Group A account at the fourth attempt on an evening when they stared further embarrassment full in the face.
Azerbaijan, ranked 112th in the world by FIFA, came perilously close to repeating Luxembourg’s shock victory in Dublin, and while Stephen Kenny’s men at least avoided that fate, their faint qualification hopes suffered a fatal blow as their wait for a competitive victory stretched to 15 games.
Afterwards Idah was named as the player-of-the-match but speaking to RTÉ Sport, he admitted that he felt that left two points behind them.
"Obviously it’s disappointing," he said. "I thought we came out in the second half and we played very well, it was a top performance from everyone and we were so unlucky not to get another goal.
"I don’t think we deserved to get the draw, I think we deserved to win that game and it’s just very harsh and heart-breaking for all of us.
"I thought we played well, at times we need to be sharper in the final third and on my own behalf I think I need to be more clinical in and around the final third.
"Like I said before I think we did very well in the second half and all we can do is build on that in take it into the next few games.
"I had a few headers tonight and I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I’m gutted that I haven’t scored a goal for the first team yet but I’ll take the positives from that game and bring it into the next few games."
Man of the Match Adam Idah feels that Ireland were unlucky not to get all three points from their World Cup qualifier draw with Azerbaijan.— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) September 4, 2021
??Watch: https://t.co/2W5kFtUgZE#IRLAZE #WorldCup2022 #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/uhFBQiwVgk
The game was Idah’s first senior international for his country in front of home supporters with the Aviva Stadium at 50% capacity as Covid-19 measures continue to be lifted.
While Idah was unable to hide his disappointment at the result, he was pleased to be able to turn out in the green shirt in front of his friends and family.
"It’s unbelievable, you could hear everyone cheering my name there and even at the start of the game I had goosebumps," he said.
"My family were sitting right there, it was emotional for me, all my family and my friends were watching today and I’m very honoured to be here.
"I worked hard over the summer trying to get into the team for Norwich and work my way in for Ireland I’d like to think I’m doing that quite well."