Robbie Keane spoke of his "pride" after winning his 100th Republic of Ireland cap against Argentina but agreed the visitors had deserved their 1-0 win.
Keane had late "half-chances" for the Irish but Angel Di Maria's controversial goal separated the sides.
"Playing against a team that keeps the ball for fun is very difficult and frustrating," said Keane.
"I had two difficult late chances but we didn't really create chances. It was a difficult night for us."
Keane was hugely impressed with Barcelona star Lionel Messi's contribution before his 58th-minute substitution.
"The work-rate of people like Messi was unbelievable.
"It was just one of those nights - we couldn't get near them.
"The first half was very difficult. They were bopping it around and we couldn't get close to them.
"In the second half, we pushed higher up the field and made it a bit easier for ourselves.
"The positive was that a few of the lads made their debuts and Keith Treacy did well when he came on."
Keane became the only the fourth Republic player to achieve a century of caps and he walked out at the start holding his 15-month-old son Robbie Jnr, who was the team mascot on the night.
"It was a proud moment for me and my family also," acknowledged the Irish captain.
"It would have been nice if we had topped it off with a draw or a win but it wasn't to be and we move on now for the (Euro) qualifiers."
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