Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill struggled to hide his disappointment after Scotland claimed a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016 qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.
Jon Walters put the hosts in front after 38 minutes but Scotland pulled level two minutes after the interval when Shaun Maloney’s shot took a decisive deflection off John O’Shea.
Ireland are now winless in their last four Group D matches, a run that has damaged their chances of claiming a play-off spot.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, disappointed to concede the goal just after half-time,” O’Neill told Sky Sports. “I thought we were dominant in the first half. We deserved to get in front.
“It’s a poor goal to concede – it looks as if it’s going miles wide before it hit John O’Shea on the shoulder.
“That put us on the back foot for about 10 minutes. I thought that was Scotland’s best spell in the game.
“But overall, I thought we did enough.
“We have to try and be a bit more creative when we can be, if at all possible.
“But we’ve given absolutely everything and I thought we were going to nick it towards the end.”
Scotland remain two points better off than Ireland, who will be four behind Germany in second if the world champions complete an expected victory over minnows Gibraltar later on Saturday.
But O’Neill remains bullish over his team’s qualification prospects.
“Today we wanted to try and win the game to go ahead of Scotland The status quo has remained.
“Scotland will be delighted to get out of here with something on the board but there’s still a distance to go.
“We have not given up this by a long way.”
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