SOUTHAMPTON goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was attacked by laser batons in the Republic of Ireland’s defeat in Greece.
The Saints stopper had the green light in his face as he tried to save Anastasios Bakasetas’ early penalty that put Greece ahead.
Bazunu had to rush off his line to save Masouras with a tackle that drew feverish calls for a penalty from the locals in a sparse crowd.
Their pleas may have gone unanswered on the occasion, but with 15 minutes remaining, Austria referee Harald Lechner was advised to take a second look at O’Dowda’s block after Sheffield United defender George Baldock crossed from the right.
Bakasetas took the lead from 12 yards out and shot the resulting penalty past the helpless Bazunu to give Greece the lead they deserved.
Pantelis Hatzidiakos almost put Ireland back in the game when he fired in Doherty’s cross just inches from his own goal.
But the reprieve proved temporary as Evan Ferguson shot Smallbone’s corner over the bar in the 27th minute and Collins leveled his arrival perfectly, albeit after another VAR check.
Bazunu fought well to fend off an attempted slip by Bakasetas and saw another fierce attempt from the midfielder deflected just wide of the right post.
Ireland were embarrassed again four minutes after the restart as Bakasetas slotted the ball into Masouras’ path into the box and watched as he circled a shot around Bazunu and restored his side’s lead.
Kenny, who had replaced Idah with Mikey Johnston at the break, sent James McClean – who won his 99th cap – and Jason Knight for the goal, with Greece smelling blood.
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Ireland started late to take the game to their hosts and Collins was denied a spectacular second goal by a flying save from Odysseas Vlachodimos with 18 minutes remaining.
Former Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis could have clinched the win with 11 minutes left after developing a good shooting position but flicking his shot harmlessly over the bar.
Doherty might have leveled with an injury-time snap saved by Vlachodimos and his heartache was compounded by the death when he was sent off over hot tempers.