Troy Parrott came off the bench to secure a dramatic last-gasp 1-0 international friendly victory for the Republic of Ireland over Lithuania at the Aviva Stadium.
Stephen Kenny's side struggled to penetrate a stubborn and well-organised Lithuanian outfit and it took them until injury time at the end of the game to finally break the deadlock.
And it was 20-year-old Troy Parrott who showed real class, composure, finesse and ferocity as he slammed an unstoppable effort home from outside the area in the 97th minute to secure the win and increase Ireland’s unbeaten run to eight games.
A plethora of changes were made to the Ireland side that drew with Belgium as the team were brought back down from Saturday's high to a half-empty arena showing that some international friendlies do not truly whet the appetite.
There was a strong Cork influence in the starting XI with five Rebels named in Kenny's selection, as Alan Browne and Conor Hourihane joined captain for the night John Egan, Caoimhin Kelleher and man of the moment Chiedozie Ogbene.
But it was the west that was awake in the early stages as Galway man Ryan Manning has an early chance to influence after Dara O’Shea did well to play him into an advanced position down the left in the fourth minute – the early cross was lacking, however.
Three minutes later a tempting ball dropped outside the box and Manning had the confidence to shoot. A tough ask with the ball taking an age to come down and the Swansea man did well to make clean contact but the shot skewered wide.
And Manning was involved once again within a minute as he was played down the left by Conor Hourihane, and while the cross was inch-perfect and Chieodozie Ogbene’s finish clinical, it was a case of third time unlucky as the flag was rightly raised for offside.
Lithuania offered little in those opening exchanges, happy to maintain their shape and sit deep, attempting to frustrate, but Ireland were equally ineffective throughout the middle of the half as Dara O’Shea and Conor Hourihane were both guilty of giving away soft free-kicks inside their own half, while Matt Doherty gave away a needless corner attempting to save a throw-in.
A collection of corners around the 30-minute mark woke the crowd from their slumber with the Irish team noticeably upping the work rate, spurred on by some great intensity from Ogbene and Browne.
Lithuania eventually looked to penetrate the box following a swift counterattack in the 33rd minute, and while Titas Milasius did well to get on the ball inside the area, Nathan Collins drew the foul and settled the situation.
But Ireland went back on the front foot, and while Will Keane was starting to make a nuisance of himself inside the box, he could not test the keeper with a couple of half-chances with his head.
In truth, the visitors were doing their intended job by frustrating with six across the back as Ireland struggled to play through them in the final third, perhaps not moving the ball quick enough to drag the visitors out of position.
In the 43rd minute Lithuania moved forward, winning a corner, however, Kelleher was commanding and cleared with a powerful punch to send this stalemate in for a much needed recharge, and perhaps rethink from an Irish perspective.
Yet Stephen Kenny must not have been too disappointed with the first-half offering as he sent the same eleven back out to bat for the start of the second half, although it was Lithuania who started the brightest as captain Fedor Černych burst forward and got his shot away – a deflection took the power off the early effort.
Ireland had the net bulging, once again, in the 54th minute as the ball was dragged back from the right where Hourihane placed the ball with power past the keeper, however, the flag eventually went up as two offside players were between shot and keeper and Robinson was certainly in his eyeline.
Three minutes later Matt Doherty jinked his way into the box, helped by a rebound off a Lithuania defender, and then the goal opened up for him, however, the shot was tame and the keeper saved. Ogbene was there to follow up but his shot from a tight angle just flew across the face.
Ireland were certainly playing with a lot more conviction and attacking intent as finally the Lithuania yellow wall appeared to be crumbling a touch.
In the 62nd minute, Lithuania won a free in a decent position following a mistimed Egan challenge, however, Vykintas Slivka wasted the opportunity by slapping the ball high, wide and out to touch.
James McClean and Troy Parrott were sent of for the final 30-odd minutes, however, the stoppage allowed Lithuania to regroup and hit a little purple patch as Slivka and then Edgaras Utkus both had clear looks at goal, but their well-hit efforts were vitally blocked by first Collins and then Egan.
Ireland then appealed for a penalty, however, it appears that Ogbene tripped over his own feet, and was probably just outside the box – either way, the referee got it right and waved it away.
Another corner kick in the 68th minute, another chance wasted to test the keeper as Ireland's lack of ingenuity from the set-piece situation continued, and suddenly there was just 20 minutes remaining with the scores still level.
And the frustration was evidently creeping in, as Doherty once again danced into the box but this time opted to shoot from the angle and blasted it over the bar.
In the 73rd minute, Ireland had the ball in the net for the third time as Parrott raced clear with real intent, running at the retreating defenders.
The pass outside to McClean before the ball was squared for Ogbene to slot home, however, the flag was back in the air as soon as the ball hit the net, and again the official had it spot on, as Parrott had delayed that split second too long with McClean straying offside.
Hearts in mouths for a moment in the 75th minute as the referee blew the whistle just after Černych hit the turf inside the Ireland area. A yellow card would be produced, however, as the skipper was seen to be simulating.
Into the final ten minutes and more subs were thrown on, as Ireland looked to make something happen, as Jeff Hendrick, Scott Hogan and Jason Knight were introduced, however, Ireland still struggled to hit the target.
Parrott was the player looking to make things happen in the latter stages and did well to make space to shoot, but again the keeper could not be tested as the effort flew wide.
In the 89th minute, Egan moved up for a free into the box, and while the initial ball was cleared, it was worked back in for the captain, and while his header was powerful, downward and into the corner, Dziugas Bartkus went full length to his left to make the crucial save.
Five minutes of injury time handed Kenny’s side plenty of time to conjure up something to send the crown home happy, and while the chances duly arrived for both Parrott, who forced another great save from the keeper, and Doherty who just cleared the crossbar, the deadlock could not be broken.
Not even in the final moments as Hogan raced onto a hopeful ball over the top, took a touch and slapped the ball into the back of the net. For the fourth time of the night, the flag went up and again the officials showed that they did not need VAR to get the decision right.
But then with the five minutes already elapsed, one last hopeful hoof into the box from Hourihane, and the half-clearance dropped to the ever-eager Parrott.
The young Dubliner took a moment to get the ball under control while on the move across the box before unleashing an unstoppable effort that flew past the keeper, who could do little to deny Ireland the victory right at the death.
Republic of Ireland: Caoimhin Kelleher; John Egan (capt), Nathan Collins, Dara O’Shea (James McClean 63); Matt Doherty, Ryan Manning, Alan Browne (Jeff Hendrick 82), Conor Hourihane; Chiedozie Ogbene (Jason Knight 82), Callum Robinson (Scott Hogan 77), Will Keane (Troy Parrott 63)
Lithuania: 1 Dziugas Bartkus; 8 Egidijus Vaitkūnas, 23 Roland Baravykas, 2 Linas Klimavicius, 6 Benas Šatkus; 5 Edgaras Utkus, 14 Vykintas Slivka; 4 Titas Milasius (Donatas Kazlauskas HT), 17 Justas Lasickas (3 Pijus Sirvys 82), 10 Fedor Černych (capt) (Gratas Sirgedas 87), 21 Augustinas Klimavicius (Ignas Kruzikas 61)
Referee: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)