A performance lacking control, a little too frenetic at times, yet Stephen Kenny always believed that his side would get the goals needed to secure the away win in Luxembourg.

And while his side had to wait until the 67th minute to break the deadlock in the Grand Duchy, and survive a scare or two throughout the opening two thirds of the contest, Ireland eventually ran out comfortable and deserving winners.

Goals from Shane Duffy, Chiedozie Ogbene and Callum Robinson ensured that Ireland gained a modicum of revenge for the March defeat in the reverse fixture and ended up the World Cup campaign in third place behind Portugal and group winners Serbia, who advanced to next year's tournament.

Kenny named a side with a focus on energy and pace, bringing Adam Idah and James McClean into the team, yet the Irish found themselves up against a side who also had an attacking intent and had to defend resolutely in the opening stages.

But the gaps at the back began to appear as Luxembourg's six-man attacking unit played in an advanced formation with the defence holding a high line, and soon into the contest, Chiedozie Ogbene was causing a real commotion working either flank, while Adam Idah stretched the central defenders.

Gavin Bazunu kept the scores level with a top-class save midway through the half, while Ogbene’s rasping shot was just tipped over as the sides went in level at the break.

Bazunu went full stretch to get a vital touch on the deflected effort

Luxembourg, to their credit, upped the level in the second half and should have capitalised on a poor Shane Duffy clearance, before they saw a goal chalked off for a push in the box – again on Duffy in the build-up to the disallowed effort.

The introduction of Jason Knight changed the dynamic of the game as the young Dubliner was introduced midway through the second half.

Knight won a free-kick that led to the first goal then ably assisted the second and third as Ireland took the points to end the campaign in style.

"It was a tough game," Kenny, speaking to RTE Sport after the game.

"Luxembourg are a good team who played some good football. They can hurt you with their six attacking players, but we thought that we could hurt them, could exploit with pace the back four.

"We lacked control in the first half, probably because we absolutely went for it out of possession and left ourselves a little bit exposed, but we believed that we could score.

"We created a lot of chances and delighted to win the game."

The manager admitted that it was an all-or-nothing approach to the game where victory was the only thought in the team’s mind as they went in search of that third placed finish.

And while the manager admitted that he would normally want more control from his side, he knew that his side could get the goals needed to secure the win.

"We got in several times behind their back four and Chiedozie got in several times and Adam got in a couple of times [in the first half]," added Kenny.

"We felt maybe the final pass or the movement in the box was not quite right, but we did get in a lot, and that’s because they play the high line and push on.

"We pushed on, and that is why it was very open and it was pretty frenetic. Ideally, we would have liked to play with more control, but we knew that we just had to win the game, a draw was nothing for us.

"We just had to get after them and force errors, and it left us a bit open."

Jason Knight's introduction allowed Ireland to regain control in midfield

And the manager was full of praise for former Cabinteely youth Knight who came on and changed the game for his country.

"It’s one of the advantages of being the Under-21 manager previously, in that you know the character of the player, and Jason Knight, I had no hesitation, as I have worked with him and I know the characteristics that he has as a man and his talent as a player.

"He has come back from injury and has done really well recently, we’re delighted to have him."

Ireland’s chances of reaching the 2022 World Cup went up in smoke in the early stages of the campaign, losing to Serbia and Luxembourg in March.

And while the manager again emphasised the fact that his side were still a work in progress, he was quick to point out the good run of form and his side’s recent upturn in the goalscoring stakes.

"Ten goals in last four games and four clean sheets, so we’re doing a lot better in that regard," said Kenny.

"Since we lost to Luxembourg, it’s ten games now, with Ronaldo of course in the 97th minute the only game we lost, so we’re doing well.

"We know we’re not perfect, but we know there are more players coming through, there’s more to come.

"There was a lot of pressure on the players after that defeat to Luxembourg, and the players have responded brilliantly. They deserve the credit because they are an absolute pleasure to work with.

"And Keith Andrews, Anthony Barry and Dean Kiely and all the staff behind the scenes have been brilliant with the players, and it’s a real collective effort."

"There’s only one Stephen Kenny" rang out from the stands during the post-match RTE television interview, and while grateful for the support, the manager was again quick to divert the praise to those that deserve it most, the players who wore the new-look orange away shirts at the Stade de Luxembourg.

"I’d rather they were singing for the players, I’m a bit embarrassed," said Kenny.

"I’d rather they were singing "come on you boys in green" or whatever for the players.

"I appreciate it, it’s great, but at the end of the day, it’s about players, it’s always about players.

"When you’re a manager, you know the game is always about the players, and our players have been magnificent over the last few months."