Fans loved James McClean as he took Ireland to the top of World Cup qualifying group
Ireland's 1-0 win against their Austrian hosts has taken them to the top of Group D in the long road to the 2018 World Cup.
But after a night of near-misses at the Ernst Happel Stadium, it was sole goal-scorer James McClean who everyone was talking about.
The West Bromwich Albion player scored in the second half when he launched a magnificent ball through the legs of keeper Ramazan Ozcan, just two minutes after the break - and it didn't take long for fans to show their appreciation.
The winger, who had recovered from a back injury just in time to make the squad, was named man of the match as Ireland took pole position in Group D with 10 points - three above nearest rivals, Serbia.
Fans hoping for a more domineering victory were left on the edge of their seats as another goal was disallowed just moments later, after Jonathan Walters' effort from a Robbie Brady free kick was given offside.
It wasn't the only near-thing of the evening however: Striker Marc Janko might have troubled keeper Darren Randolph more than he did with a fifth-minute shot and a header 10 minutes later, and he blazed high and wide after latching on to a weak Shane Duffy clearance with 26 minutes gone.
The Republic too created a series of half-chances with McClean seeing a 13th-minute effort deflected just over the angle of bar and post and Walters glancing a 31st-minute header just wide after Duffy had tumbled inside the penalty as he tried to meet a corner with Russian referee Sergei Karasev unmoved.
The nail-biting match kept its intensity right up to the final whistle, and there was a palpable sense of relief when Randolph safely fielded defender Aleksandar Dragovic's deflected 90th-minute strike.
As their first victory over Austria since 1963, it's safe to say McClean has well-and-truly launched Ireland into their most promising World Cup qualifying campaign for many years.