Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium
It could have been a famous result.
Ireland will come away from tonight's game against France incredibly pleased with their performance, but they probably should have emerged from the contest with something more than just plaudits.
They played brilliantly against arguably the world's best team and would have full merited a draw at least. Unfortunately, a mistake at a crucial moment ultimately condemned them to defeat.
Here's how we rated the performance on the night.
Ireland Player Ratings vs France
Gavin Bazunu - 7
Did well to turn Kolo Muani away from goal during a dangerous moment in the opening ten minutes. Bazunu was clearly told to take the sting out of the game where possible and showed no hesitation in doing so.
He could do nothing to prevent Pavard's opener and made a couple of good stops from long range efforts after that point.
Nathan Collins - 7
Keeping close to Coleman in an effort to limit space for Mbappe, Collins did an excellent job of keeping the visitors out in the first half. It would have been nice to see step out with the ball more often, although the opposition press limited his ability to do so.
He forced a world class save from Maignan late on to deny Ireland a potentially famous point.
John Egan - 7
Manning the middle of the defence, Egan ensured that the shape at the back remained even as other players stepped out to close the space for French attackers.
He came close to getting on the end of set-piece deliveries in the other box on occasion, although the ball didn't quite fall his way.
Dara O'Shea - 7
O'Shea showed brilliant composure on the ball at times, even when they was a relative lack of options to play out from the defence.
The West Brom man covered the left side well throughout, including in a couple of one-on-one duels.
Seamus Coleman - 8
Clearly tasked with keeping a close eye on Kylian Mbappe, he did an excellent job of it in the first half. His impact going the other direction was limited as a result, although Coleman did pick out some nice passes at times.
It was a vintage performance from the Donegal man, who was a real leader both in terms of his performance and the way in which he marshalled the troops. He has plenty left in the tank.
Matt Doherty - 7
Needed to show more often for possession early on, especially when Ireland were attempting to bypass the French press. However, he grew into the game from that point, producing an excellent run in the 26th minute to beat a number of French players.
He was fairly tidy on the ball and defended well against Kolo Muani.
Josh Cullen - 6
Cullen certainly didn't shirk away from any challenges and was a calming presence for Ireland on the ball.
However, what he did for the opening French goal was criminal, rolling it into the path of Pavard who finished brilliantly.
Jayson Molumby - 8
The adrenaline got the better of him on a couple of occasions early on, flying into a mistimed tackle and have one or two questionable touches. However, he recovered from that point and really grew into the contest.
His pressing was ferocious, never giving the French a moment of rest. Molumby continually demanded more from his teammates and put in a battling display. A very impressive showing.
Jason Knight - 7
Knight was tasked with doing much of the hard running in the middle third, pressing relentlessly when France were on the ball. He also looked to provide a threat in forward areas and launched quite a few Irish attacks.
He offers a lot to the side.
Evan Ferguson - 8
Produced a couple of brilliant touches in the opening stages, but service was often lacking in the opening half as Ireland struggled to play through the lines.
The way in which was was able to hold off both Konate and Upamecano with relative ease was remarkable and he made some excellent runs. Unfortunately he was rarely picked.
While he was tiring somewhat, it was a surprise to see him substituted with 25 minutes still to play. It was good glimpse at what he offers to a team.
Chiedozie Ogbene - 8
Set the tone in the very first minute by stripping Kylian Mbappe of possession and winning a free for Ireland. Ogbene was a constant threat in behind, even if his teammates struggled to find him at times.
He gave Theo Hernandez a torrid time throughout the game, an area Ireland perhaps should have exploited even further. You would have hoped to see him in and around the box more often, but it was an excellent showing from Ogbene.
Adam Idah - 8
Coming on with 25 minutes to go, Idah threw himself about a bit and caused some issues for the France defence with his physicality. He also linked the play brilliantly.
Alan Browne - 6
Tried to force the issue after coming on but could not break down the French.
James McClean - 7
Injected some life into Ireland's play after coming on and forced a good stop out of Maignan with a low driving effort.
Mikey Johnston - 6
Couldn't quite recapture the magic of his Latvia cameo.
Michael Obafemi - N/A
Not on long enough to rate.