The Republic of Ireland have missed out on the chance to play in Dublin at the Euro 2020 finals following a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat in Slovakia.
Ireland bowed out of the play-offs after a goalless extra-time draw in Bratislava further highlighting their problems in front of goal since the retirement of record scorer Robbie Keane four years ago.
In the intervening period, their 27 competitive matches have yielded just 22 goals with central defender Shane Duffy and winger James McClean contributing four each.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the men who could address a burning issue.
Brighton’s 20-year-old frontman Connolly is a man who head coach Stephen Kenny knows well from their time together with the under-21s. He is yet to open his account in his four senior appearances to date, but having burst on to the Premier League scene with a double against Tottenham last season, his potential is clear.
McClean established himself as an international match-winner during the last World Cup qualification campaign, scoring the only goal in 1-0 wins in both Austria and Wales. However, his influence has waned since and he will hope to rediscover that kind of form once again to push for a regular starting berth.
Thursday night marked five years to the day since Long had come off the bench to fire Ireland to a 1-0 victory over world champions Germany. It was also a day short of four years since he last struck for his country, and that is a hugely-disappointing statistic for a man who is capable of much better.
The fact that no Irish player has scored more goals in competitive matches than central defender Duffy in the last four years or so tells its own story. A towering presence from set-pieces, he has developing a knack of coming up with something when all else fails.