Northern Ireland's difficult Nations League campaign ended in crushing disappointment as Austria scored in the 93rd minute to snatch a 2-1 win in Belfast on Sunday.
Valentino Lazaro curled a delightful finish into the top corner with almost the last kick of the game to ensure Michael O'Neill's men finished without a point at the foot of Group 3 of League B.
Neither side was able to catch promoted Bosnia-Herzegovina and the contest reflected its dead-rubber status until Xaver Schlager's clinical 49th-minute opener.
Corry Evans looked to have given the already-relegated hosts reason to cheer when he ended Northern Ireland's three-match scoreless run with an equaliser, but they were ultimately dealt a fourth successive competitive defeat by Lazaro's perfectly timed first international goal.
Frustration in front of goal had been the prevailing theme of Northern Ireland's campaign and a dull first half offered few solutions.
Evans forced a backpedalling Heinz Lindner to tip over an early deflected effort, while Niall McGinn threatened with a fine free-kick that he curled marginally wide of the near post.
It took a rare moment of attacking quality for the deadlock to be broken as Schlager drove home an unerring left-footed finish across Trevor Carson following David Alaba's clever dummy of Peter Zulj's pass.
The goal only sparked Northern Ireland into action and parity was restored through Evans eight minutes later, the midfielder's shot taking a touch off Martin Hinteregger and leaving Lindner with little chance.
Bayern Munich man Alaba and George Saville both threatened to seize the momentum with near misses at either end, before Lazaro went one better at the death.
Alaba robbed Stuart Dallas of possession and initiated a counter-attack that ended with the 22-year-old guiding expertly beyond Carson.
What does it mean? O'Neill's optimism not without cause
O'Neill insisted he was not left "devastated or despondent" by the three previous Nations League losses and there was enough evidence in this admittedly deflating defeat to give hope for the future.
Though there are areas for improvement - some of which are perhaps beyond the manager's control - Northern Ireland's clear ability to match the teams around them on pure footballing terms suggests they should at least be competitive come the main course of Euro 2020 qualifying.
Alaba's class shines through
With Marko Arnautovic watching from the bench for over 70 minutes, the onus fell upon Alaba to lead Austria's charge. He lived up to expectation, playing a key part in both goals and providing drive from deep.
Dallas caught in two minds
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has sought to convert Dallas into a full-back and though serviceable enough in that role at Windsor Park, the natural winger appeared a man struggling for clear decision-making when he coughed up the ball and left Northern Ireland exposed in the closing moments.
O'Neill and counterpart Franco Foda both have time to reflect ahead of December's Euro 2020 qualifying draw in Dublin with no matches presently scheduled for either nation.
18 de febrero 2019
|Solskjaer trusts us, we trust him – Pogba|
|Vettel revels in ´unbelievable´ start to F1 testing, Williams woe continues|
|Man United visit Wolves in FA Cup last eight, Swansea to host Man City|
|Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after 2019 season|
|Nurnberg 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate leaves Bayern within striking distance|
|Chelsea 0 Manchester United 2: Solskjaer´s men bounce back to reach FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Wozniacki explains ongoing struggle with viral illness after Dubai withdrawal|
|Petkovic drops just one game against Bogdan in Budapest|
|Barcelona have learned from Roma humiliation - Valverde|
|Djokovic and Biles take top Laureus honours|
|Leeds United fined £200,000 by EFL following spying controversy|
|Tiger Woods wins Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award|
|Gundogan marvels at Man City team-mate David Silva|
|Djokovic can match Nadal and Federer in major honours - Becker|
|Ribery doubtful for Liverpool trip after daughter´s birth|
|Webb outlines commitment to Toulon after president´s outburst|
|Griezmann: Champions League home final gives us extra motivation|
|Salihamidzic and Bayern not daunted by ´special´ Anfield atmosphere|
|Serena returns to WTA top 10 for first time as a mother|
|Saunders to fight Isufi for vacant WBO super-middleweight belt|
|West Ham reveal plans to improve London Stadium atmosphere|
|Wasps sign Minozzi and announce it with ´Super Mario´ mash-up|
|Unwell Wozniacki pulls out of Dubai Tennis Championship|
|Dananjaya returns to Sri Lanka squad for South Africa ODIs|
|Henderson targets Premier League and Champions League double|
|Hogg ruled out as Townsend adds six to Scotland squad|
|Cancellara backs Cavendish to claim more stage wins|
|Tyson Fury agrees lucrative deal to be co-promoted by Top Rank|
|Leeds United suffer blow with Roofe injury|
|Klopp fears Bayern Munich are ´more dangerous than before´|
|Rosberg: Hamilton favourite again and pressure on Vettel|
|Klopp assessing Lovren ´minute by minute´ ahead of Bayern|
|Paratici confirms Juventus enquiry over Icardi|
|I am still contracted to my team - Savea responds to Toulon owner´s bizarre outburst|
|Carter sad for retiring Lambie but excited to make Racing return|
|Harvey to step down as EFL CEO|
|IAAF calls on five experts as Semenya challenges hyperandrogenism rule via CAS|
|Shaqiri has silenced doubters at Liverpool, says Barnetta|
|I´ll try to keep racking them up - Durant wants more after All-Star MVP|
|Coman back but no Boateng for Bayern Munich´s trip to Liverpool|
|Kaepernick may not want to return to the NFL - Allen|
|Foden dwelling on one mistake over decisive Newport double|
|LeBron focusing on Lakers´ playoff push after All-Star Game|
|Liverpool are favourites against Bayern Munich - Kimmich|
|Squire leaving New Zealand to join Red Hurricanes|
|Liverpool v Bayern Munich: James desperately needs a career boost at Anfield|
|Clash with ultras, stripped of captaincy - a timeline of Icardi´s fractured Inter relationship|
|Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, says Ancelotti|
|Antetokounmpo shines, Nowitzki and Wade can still play – takeaways from NBA All-Star Game|
|Top highlights from Team LeBron´s victory over Team Giannis in NBA All-Star Game|
|Durant earns All-Star Game MVP honours|
|Team LeBron rally past Team Giannis|
|PSG can reach Champions League final without Neymar – Cafu|
|Holmes edges out Thomas to win fifth PGA Tour event|
|Hamlin wins crash-filled Daytona 500|
|Marotta: Inter have never doubted Icardi|
|Guardiola was questioned too – Zola says Sarri needs time|
|Icardi has no intention to leave Inter - Nara|
|Tuchel hails ´exceptional´ PSG mentality|
|Mbappe: PSG team better than my goals record|
|Opelka claims maiden ATP title in New York|
|Mbappe makes Ligue 1 history with wonderful volley|
|Saudi takeover of Manchester United dismissed|
17 de febrero 2019
|Stroman unhappy with Blue Jays´ lack of veteran leadership|
|Sanchez is far from finished at the top level, insists Solskjaer|
|Giggs: Give Man United job to Solskjaer|
|Robinson hails Morris´ ´special´ Roosters debut|
|Saint-Etienne 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Magical Mbappe snatches the points|
|Morris: I showed Roosters team-mates what I can do|
|Morris´ debut hat-trick guides Roosters to World Club Challenge glory|