Republic of Ireland midfielder Josh Cullen said that frustration was his overriding emotion after the side's 1-1 World Cup qualifier draw with Azerbaijan at the Aviva Stadium.
The Anderlecht midfielder again caught the eye in midfield for Stephen Kenny’s side, but overallit was another disappointing night in Dublin having lost to Luxembourg at the same venue back in March.
Ireland came flying out of the traps but having failed to make that early domination count on the scoreboard, Azerbaijan were able to grow into the game with the visitors taking the lead on the brink of half time following a superb Emin Makhmudov strike.
Shane Duffy did rescue a point with a late header after a second half dominated by Ireland, but a downbeat Cullen said that a draw was not enough.
"Frustration, I suppose," he told RTÉ Sport when asked for his reaction to the game.
"I felt we started the game well, the first 15 minutes. Then for whatever reason we dropped off for probably a 30-minute period leading up to half time. It was summed by the goal they scored.
"Everyone who watched the game could see the pattern of the second half, it was all us.
"Again, a lot of frustration because we couldn’t get the two goals that we needed."
Kenny’s men had 20 shots on the night but were limited to only a handful of clear-cut chances with Jayson Molumby going close with a good effort before Adam Idah and Duffy missed headers prior to the latter’s equaliser. Callum Robinson also scuffed a late chance when under pressure.
For Cullen, making the most of those opportunities was a necessity when attempting to navigate a winning path past a side that has opted for a defensive approach.
"It’s difficult when a team sits in like that. You have to make the most of the half chances that you create and little openings.
"At times our finish or our final ball wasn’t as good as it should have been but in saying that, I think we did create enough to get the two goals.
"Unfortunately we could only get one."
The player said that he was delighted to see such a vocal crowd inside the stadium with the attendance boosted to half capacity due to a loosening of Covid-19 restrictions.
"I’m obviously delighted to be playing for my country and every time you get to pull on the shirt it’s a massive honour," he said.
"I just love being out there playing for Ireland but, like I said, it’s a frustrating one tonight.
"A massive thank you to the fans who came out because they were unbelievable, pushed us right to the end and stuck by us. It was great to have them back.
"A frustrating evening that we couldn’t give them what they deserved and get that second goal."