Spertsyan’s 75th-minute effort settled the game as the Republic were made to pay for the chances they missed before the break and their failure to create much at all after it.
Armenia’s previous game was a 9-0 defeat by Norway but the Republic struggled to break down the home defence.
“I felt the last 20-25 minutes of the first half, we were really in control, but we didn’t start the second half like that at all. I was disappointed that we didn’t start the second half like we ended the first.
“We seemed to be susceptible to counter-attacks and we found it difficult to break them down. We created some good chances but we didn’t take them, some half-chances, but they didn’t really have any chances bar the offside goal, so it was disappointing overall.”
The Republic will have to bounce back quickly from the defeat, which had shades of their 1-0 loss to Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying in March last year.
Before the match Kenny had challenged his players to win the group, and with Ukraine to come on Wednesday before Scotland travel to Dublin on Saturday, the Irish manager admits the defeat in Armenia has dented their hopes.
“We’ve made life difficult for ourselves, but rather than focusing on that, we’ve got to focus on bouncing back on Wednesday,” he said.
“We’ve got two home games now, we need to dust ourselves down. We’re disappointed with ourselves, we know it’s a poor result, we’re well aware of that.”
‘One of the greatest victories in Armenian football’
Armenia coach Joaquin Caparros was delighted with the way his side adopted a new approach after the break and was eventually rewarded.
He said: “I am very pleased with the way we played in the second half. I have to praise my players because it’s a very good result for our team.
“In the first half, they had a lot of possession of the ball but they didn’t have any opportunities apart from the very end, the header which went wide.
“We got more confidence and had more possession. We worked really hard and earned our luck with the goal.
“It’s one of the greatest victories of the Armenian football team because Ireland is a very good team.”
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