Skipper Steven Davis was left frustrated as Northern Ireland once again failed to take their chances as Thursday night’s international friendly against the Republic of Ireland ended in a scoreless draw at the Aviva Stadium.
Northern Ireland were the better of the two sides in the high-profile Dublin fixture.
But Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph was to deny Michael O’Neill’s side from finally ending a run of seven games without scoring.
O’Neill had hoped his side could have given themselves a boost going into Sunday’s UEFA Nations League game against Austria in Belfast by taking a win over their neighbours.
However, it now matters little as the scoreless draw between Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina last night in Vienna confirmed Northern Ireland’s relegation from Pool B of League Three.
Davis cut a frustrated figure last night after the draw and said: “The win was there for us. I think we played very well and caused them problems, on the balance of the play we had the better of the game.
“We had some good chances but need to be more clinical, and we have found that to our detriment in the group. It was nice to get a result but we should have won.”
Manager O’Neill added: “I am proud of the team, we were terrific on the night and had good chances but Darren Randolph had a good night so credit to him. I was pleased with the performance and thought we deserved to win the game.
“It was a really positive performance. A clean sheet is a positive away from home, the frustration is the chances we created and didn’t come away with the win.”