The Leeside duo weren’t able to hit the heights assistant manager Roy Keane did in his pomp, but they couldn’t be faulted for the disappointing loss which leaves qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia hanging by a thread.
With Wales winning twice this weekend and Serbia setting the pace, Ireland will need to beat Moldova at home and the Welsh away in the last two days in early October to even make a play-off.
Irish defender Shane Duffy hasn’t given up on his World Cup dream though, especially as Ireland had a goal disallowed and a blatant penalty denied in an improved display for the 1-1 draw in Georgia on Saturday.
“It just didn’t drop for us tonight because we threw everything at them and we left everything out there on the pitch.
“They just got that lucky break and the boy on the overlap (Aleksandar Kolarov) scored a fine goal.
“That was the difference between the teams, they took the one decent chance they had in the game and we missed a succession of them when they were down to 10 men and we were chasing the game,” he added.