Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw had mixed emotions following her side's battling 1-1 draw with Slovakia at Tallaght Stadium.

Ireland had to fight back to take a point against a well-drilled Slovakia side who came to Dublin to disrupt and play a direct game.

And the visitors' game-plan worked throughout as they frustrated Ireland and held the game scoreless until half-time, before taking an early lead in the second half.

Katie McCabe’s excellent equaliser dragged Ireland back into the contest, and while Ireland had chances to complete a come-from-behind victory, they could have also lost the game, only for a last-ditch Louise Quinn goal-line clearance.

Overall, a draw was probably the right result and while Pauw expressed her disappointment with her side’s inability to control the game, she acknowledged that they could have left empty handed.

"Of course, we are disappointed, we came for more," said Pauw, speaking to the press after the game.

"But on the other hand, if you’ve seen the game, we could have lost the game.

"Somehow we couldn’t get a grip on the game, because they were so aggressive, in winning the ball, and they were direct going forward.

"We found it difficult to get our structure in and to get calmness in the game and under the high pressure we were not able to keep the ball well and that is disappointing as we gave the ball away too often and too easy."

Katie McCabe celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Slovakia

Ireland began the game on the front foot and enjoyed plenty of possession inside the visitors’ half, however, there was a lack of both composure and quality in and around the final third with long hopeful balls into the box easily dealt with.

Ireland were then hit with a sucker punch in the opening moments of the second half as they lost possession high up the pitch before Slovakia exploited the space to move up the field and take the lead.

The manager said that the goal was a result of individual errors and a moment’s lapse in concentration put her side on the back foot, having to chase the game for the remainder of the half.

"If individuals are going forward and think they can run out of the organisation [of the team], that is what you get," said Pauw.

"You cannot just do your own thing. You have to stick to the game-plan to keep that togetherness.

"And sometimes if someone is doing something that others do not expect, then you have to get over, shift, and get out of position to fill that gap, and that brings the openness in front of goal."

But Pauw was happy with how her side reacted to going behind and felt that every one of her players gave everything in the game as they pushed for a late winner.

"We brought in some clips at half-time and it was better in the second half, although running out in the first minute they got the chance to score.

"We tried to get Ruesha Littlejohn in there and I think that worked really well, she had a great impact in the game immediately when she came on.

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"Everyone was trying everything they could. You need to have the guts to get there. We tried everything and later on there were players who really threw themselves in front of everything.

"Overall everyone has poured their hearts out."

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Pauw admits the home tie against Georgia is now definitely a must-win encounter as her side push for second place in Group A with Sweden now well clear of the trio of Ireland, Finland and Slovakia.

"We have to do better on Tuesday, we will do better on Tuesday, and it is a must-win game."