Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was pleased that those who turned up to the Aviva Stadium "had seen a lot of good individual performances" as his side battled to a 1-1 draw against Serbia in their World Cup qualifier.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic handed the visitors a deserved lead in the 20th minute with an excellent near-post header.

And while Ireland rode their luck in the second half, relying on man of the match Gavin Bazunu to keep them in the game, they got their reward in the dying stages.

Four minutes remained as a scramble in the box led an uncharacteristic moment of panic in the Serbia defence and the ball ended up in the back of the net courtesy of defender Nikola Milenkovic who could not get out of the way of a clearance.

Kenny was quick to heap praise on the Serbs afterwards, while adding that his side had to dig deep to earn a point.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "I thought Serbia were excellent, they were really, really good tonight but we also deserved a lot out of the week so far, we could have got four or six points, we were excellent in Portugal.

"Tonight we had a different type of performance, had to dig in deep, reservoir of energies, players paying three games in six days against an excellent team. We kept believing, we hung in there and stayed in the game. We got a bit of a break with the goal and Shane Duffy nearly got a winner. The crowd were amazing and really got behind the team - the energy in the stadium was great to see."

Expanding further on the 25,400 who turned up at Lansdowne Road, the Irish boss added: "They had a lot to shout about, they had seen a lot of good individual performances.

Kenny then singled out a young defender for special attention.

"Andrew Omobamidele was composure personified. When you are that quick, that composed and got a physical attribute, they are great attributes. It's just the start for him. He hasn't played that many games for Norwich, he's so young, himself and Gavin Bazunu.

"We will reap rewards over time. The experienced players were amazing, like Matt Doherty, his third game in six days. He was on the end line, crossing in the 80th odd minute. Shane Duffy, John Egan. They are great professionals and young players can learn from players like that.

"We have only lost one in six games, that was to a 97th-minute goal in Portugal. We need to turn the draws into wins, we've drawn too many games and we need to score more goals, but we are working on that."