Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was left to bemoan a 'ridiculous ten minute period' as his side conspired to throw away a two-goal lead against Armenia, only to nick victory courtesy of a late Robbie Brady penalty.
Brady, making his first international start since March last year, converted a stoppage-time spot kick to snatch victory after Ireland very nearly threw the game away.
They looked to be cruising to just their second win of the Group 1 campaign as they entered the final 20 minutes leading 2-0 through goals from John Egan and Michael Obafemi.
However, goals from Artak Dashyan and Eduard Spertsyan silenced the locals before Brady's last-gasp intervention, following a VAR check, the aftermath of which saw both Hovhannes Hambardzumyan and Dashyan dismissed.
The win - just manager Stephen Kenny's fourth in 21 competitive fixtures - came as a relief on a night when defeat would have meant relegation
Speaking to RTÉ Sport afterwards, Kenny insisted that he was happy with Ireland’s performance aside from that second-half spell.
He said: "Overall there was a lot of good things. Michael Obafemi’s goal was terrific, John Egan scored again and we had a lot of chances against a team that get a lot of men behind the ball and defend with a real low block.
"I think that overall the players did really well tonight aside from that ridiculous ten minute period when we conceded two goals in two minutes, but we can make sure that doesn’t happen again.
"I’m not sure exactly how to feel but I know we played really well in the game and I was very pleased with how we played.
"But then we absolutely shot ourselves in the foot for a five minute period – two goals in two minutes – it was careless."
"We could have been 4-0 up at that stage, we had centre-backs overlapping and everyone committed to attack and we obviously got caught on the break when we were winning 2-0. Then we made a mistake and got punished a minute later."
Kenny admitted that there are lessons for his side to take from the game, but again was eager to focus on the positive aspects.
"The fact that we came back and won 3-2 was important and we were much the better team, we could have won by a few goals, but there’s lessons there for us.
"We were so much in the ascendancy that we went for the third, fourth, fifth goal which is fine, but we shouldn’t lose the structure of our back three in the way we did and the protection around that.
"Overall I though there were loads of good things from the performance but a five minute moment of madness.
"We won the game, it was a pressure game for the players so it was important to win it and we won it."