Stephen Kenny has called on his side to learn from their mistakes from the reverse fixture as they face Azerbaijan in Saturday's World Cup qualifier.

Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign was all-but over when Ronaldo hit two late goals to turn the game on its head in Portugal, but then the disappointment was further compounded back in Dublin as Kenny’s charges scraped a 1-1 draw against the perceived weaker side.

Following a fine start to the game, Ireland could and should have been out of sight after just 15 minutes when they failed to convert three prime goalscoring opportunities.

Azerbaijan then managed to slow the tempo and frustrate Ireland before shocking the hosts with a long-range goal on the stroke of half-time.

Kenny’s side had virtually full possession of the ball in a second half that was spent primarily inside the Azerbaijan half, yet the lack of composure led to a real absence of creativity and the visitors almost held on for the win before Shane Duffy grabbed a late, late equaliser.

"There were lessons to be learned from the game, both out of possession in that first half period and in possession in both halves," said Kenny, speaking at the pre-match press conference in Baku.

"The players took lessons from the game, even though we did create the vast majority of chances in the game, and had we just been more clinical in front of goal we mightn’t be having the discussion now.

"But it was a good learning curve for us and we do need to improve on that performance in certain areas. We are determined to do that."

Kenny is focusing on the positive aspects of play from the home fixture and believes that his team have the capability to turn such draws into victories.

The manager accepts that the lack of creativity cost his side in the second half and is expecting them to find ways to threaten in the final third aside from sending hopeful balls into the box.

However, Kenny points to the overall return from the September window, where the team gained great confidence from two excellent performances against Portugal and at home to Serbia.

"There was a lot of good play in that match as well," said Kenny.

"Obviously, when Azerbaijan defended deeper in the second half and we pushed right on, a lot of our chances came from crosses, so we need to find the ability to play through Azerbaijan.

"We are looking forward to the challenge tomorrow night.

"We’re in confident mood. We’ve had a strong last window with our performances against Portugal and Serbia as well, and I think we want to turn those recent draws into victories, that’s the ambition.

"I think it will be an open game and there will be space for both teams, and hopefully we will maximise our opportunities that we create in a way that we didn’t at the Aviva."

John Egan echoed what the manager said in relation to the first game and the stand-in captain, in the absence of the injured Seamus Coleman, wants his side to take the game to the hosts.

"Hopefully, we can be better tomorrow than we were last time round and try and find that breakthrough.

"We need to try and be on the front foot. We need to take the game to them. That’s what we’re going to do. We’ve prepared well. We’re looking forward to the game now.

"We’ve got quality to hurt teams. It’s all about composure in the final third. When opportunity does come, it’s all about taking it. The lads have been working really hard. I’m sure we’re prepared for it."

When all else fails, Ireland can always rely on their set-piece plays to offer an attacking threat, with Egan scoring from a corner in Portugal a prime example.

"We always want to carry a set piece threat," said Egan.

"It’s a big weapon to have. Irish teams have had it down through the years. If you can be a threat from set pieces.

"We’ve always tried to do that. Every time we get a set-piece we believe we can score a goal."

Follow Azerbaijan v Republic of Ireland via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player, or listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.