One of the few bright moments in Ireland's dour defeat to Iceland on Tuesday evening came 15 minutes from the final whistle.
Just minutes after coming on as a sub, Callum O'Dowda found a pocket of space in midfield. Eunan O'Kane, another who impressed in a substitute appearance, slipped O'Dowda the ball.
The young winger was off, haring towards the Icelandic goal. A defender beaten on the edge of the box, O'Dowda rifled a shot at goal which was deflected wide.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) March 28, 2017
It was a shot of espresso in a mostly soporific 90 minutes.
It's not the first time O'Dowda, who won his fourth cap on Tuesday night, has produced such moments in an Ireland shirt. In his debut against Belarus last May in Ireland's final warm-up game before Euro 2016, there were fleeting thoughts that he could be a bolter for the Ireland squad given the impressiveness of his cameo.
Speaking to the Bristol Post, O'Dowda explained how Roy Keane had taken him aside recently to encourage his attacking impulses - something this Ireland team badly requires.
To have someone like Roy Keane take an interest in me was brilliant. He’s achieved everything there is to achieve in the game and is an inspiration.
He’s a great coach to work with and he is always encouraging me and passing on bits and bobs of advice, which is great for young players like myself.
There was one conversation we had when he told me to get on the ball and take it forward at every opportunity. That gave me a lot of confidence and, hopefully, can help me now that I’m back at Bristol City.
Picture credit: Sportsfile