What a 2021 it has been for Gavin Bazunu and the Ireland custodian again showed his worth by making a world-class save to deny Luxembourg's Olivier Thill in Sunday's World Cup qualifier - all part of the job for the former Shamrock Rovers player.

Thill found space outside the box and had time to strike one from 25 yards. The well-hit effort was deflected en route to the goal but the ball was spinning ferociously back inside the post before Bazunu went full stretch to make a vital save. That moment came just before the half-hour mark at the Stade de Luxembourg, keeping the game scoreless.

Stephen Kenny's side, after Shane Duffy put them in front after 67 minutes, kicked on from there, with Chiedozie Ogbene and Callum Robinson adding further goals in a 3-0 victory.

The win ensured a third-place finish in World Cup qualifying Group A for the Irish.

In describing his latest theatrics in the Irish goal, Bazunu told RTÉ Sport: "The first half we struggled a bit, I had a bit more to do, had that one save to to make. That's my job in the team to make those crucial saves.

"I saw the hit from outside the box; it took a nick, but luckily it took a nick quite early so I was able to react to it and make a save."

The 19-year-old has now kept four clean sheets in as many games. The work on the training ground, he says, is paying off.

"It's a case of putting the hard work in in training and hoping things come good in training.

"(In games) there is much going on, so quick, I can't think about it."

In the second half, Bazunu also made a fine save to deny Luxembourg dangerman Gerson Rodrigues, as Ireland capped a special night in the Grand Duchy, with 1,000 fans in situ to cheer them on.

"He (Gerson) is a brilliant player, he's one of their star players. We did well to keep him quiet on the night and by doing that we allowed ourselves to keep a clean sheet.

"The support of the fans is absolutely unbelievable. It's a special feeling; it makes you so proud to represent your country."