Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane said their 2-2 draw in Cardiff felt like a defeat after Wales scored with a late penalty.
Robbie Keane was disappointed with the 2-2 draw in Cardiff
"It is never nice to concede so late in a game but it summed our campaign up," said Keane, who scored his 32rd goal for the Republic to make it 1-1.
"We dominated the game and at the end it felt like a loss as we gutted at not getting the three points.
"There are positives because we played well and were always a threat."
Although Keane admitted the Group D campaign had been below-par, he said they had always faced an uphill task in qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals.
"Overall, we did not do as well as we would have liked but you have to understand we are a small nation.
"We do not have the players that Germany and the Czech Republic have and people expected those two to go through anyway.
"But we will regroup now and look forward to the next campaign with a new manager whoever that may be."
Caretaker manager Don Givens admitted they had allowed a win to slip from their grasp.
"We needed that third goal to kill them off," he said.
"We started out well and Aidan McGeady was giving them problems.
"But we went behind to a goal from nowhere and Robbie got us back in it.
"At half-time I was confident we would go on and win.
"We played well, got the goal and had other chances, but then suffered a sucker punch right at the end.
"But we asked for a better performance and we got it."