Darren Randolph enjoyed being the backstop since his heroes helped the Republic of Ireland to avoid defeat against Northern Ireland.
But for the 31-year-old Middlesbrough doorman, the Republic would emerge from his friendly confrontation at the Aviva Stadium with a shameful defeat.
It was not the identity of the opposition that would be the cause of such anguish: Michael Owill's men, such as the Republic, became admirable at the end of Euro 2016 and lost only the qualification of the World Cup. Visitors dominated both possession and possibilities.
In the case, Randolph produced good saves by Gavin Whyte and replaced Jordan Jones on both sides of the break to ensure that his team came out with a 0-0 draw.
Asked about his heroes, he said: "As a goalkeeper, it's the nights you want every time you play. As a frontman, you want the evenings by marking a hat-trick.
"You want them to be every week, but it does not always work that way. I made the saves and kept a clean sheet, so it worked for me tonight.
"I am happy with them. They count for something in the game, they kept the score in 0-0."
If this were a positive for Ireland, it was one of the few that could have taken another disappointing night in Dublin.
Now they have won one of their last 10 games in all competitions, a 2-1 friendly win over the United States in June and will lead in their final Group 4 United Nations. The shock with Denmark in Aarhus on Monday without a competitive success since last October.
There are mitigating circumstances. Manager Martin O'Neill was stolen from key players such as Seamus Coleman and Robbie Brady for long periods and experienced both staffing and training during the intermediate period.
However, the form and organization that once characterized its side have decreased and the objectives have been alarmingly dried up.
Randolph admitted: "You put more pressure on everyone, if you are not marking, to keep them and be in the game. That's football.
"Mark more than what you leave and win the game. It sounds simple, but it can be difficult to do sometimes."
Ireland did not score a goal since Aiden Elle Brien hit Poland on September 11, 307 minutes of soccer, and became increasingly dependent on the set-pieces.
Asked how they could remedy the situation, Randolph said: "It's easier said than done. If it were so easy, teams would go out and do it every week.
"It's about having that trust and belief, taking it from the field of training to the field of play."
Meanwhile, they will wait until their last line of defense remains miserable, with 12 sheets clean in their name in 20 appearances for club and country until this season's date, although Randolph shuddered when he remembered that statistic.
He said with a smile: "Do not leave me."