Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu admitted he had a lot to do as the Republic of Ireland battled to a 1-1 draw with Serbia at the Aviva Stadium.

The 19-year-old pulled off some top drawer saves to keep the hosts in the game before a late own goal saw the sides share the points.

It was just a second point for the Boys in Green in this campaign with the Dublin teenager ultimately awarded the man of the match gong for his performance.

"It was brilliant - I had a lot to do and I was happy I was able to make a few saves in the game," he told RTÉ Sport afterwards.

"I was delighted we were able to come with a result in the end because the lads deserved it. We put in a really good performance.

"I was delighted to be able to contribute my part for the team. That's my job as a goalkeeper. Hopefully I can continue to do it."

Bazunu couldn't keep Milinkovic--Savic's effort out

It was a night when Ireland lived on their nerves at times as Serbia, who started the day top of Group A, regularly managed to create scoring chances.

But another contender for the best home performer was another teenager, defender Andrew Omobamidele, who was making his first start for his country.

"Andrew was unbelievable as well. Him coming in, only played a couple of games and the confidence that he showed. I think that's what Stephen is trying to do with the squad, to bring young lads in and give them a chance.

"You see what happens and the rewards will pay off for us in the future."

With 25,000 in the ground, Bazunu also paid tribute to the vocal home support.

"My first game here (against Luxembourg) was without fans and the difference playing with all these here is immense.

"It's a different game. It helps to spur us on, create chances and stay in the game."

Omobamidele was making his first senior start for Ireland

Omobamidele looked very assured in possession and very nearly got up to score a spectacular late winner, forcing Predrag Rajkovic into a full-stretch save as Ireland chased an unlikely winner after the equaliser.

He too is only 19 years of age, but was arguably the host's best outfield player.

"I thought it was in, I was already taking my jersey off when it left my boot," the defender joked when speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game.

"The senior boys are helping me out a lot. Even the first time I came into the camp they were putting an arm around me. They got me used to the surrounds, on and off the pitch. They've helped a lot.

"We've learned that we can play. The nation have to try their best to keep their faith in us. We saw against Portugal, with their world class players like Ronaldo and Fernandes, that we went toe-to-toe with them for the majority of the game.

"This part of the campaign has obviously been disappointing with with two draws and one loss but I think we can take a lot from it."