Niall McGinn accepted it was Bosnia and Herzegovina who had the killer touch at Windsor Park, while Northern Ireland failed to sparkle in the final third.
Despite dominating much of their Uefa Nations League opener, Northern Ireland departed the scene with a feeling of what might and should have been.
The Aberdeen winger was delighted with his starting role and kept the Bosnia defence on their toes but no one in a green jersey could find a way through until Will Grigg hammered home in injury time.
By that stage the hosts had given away two poor goals and their missed opportunities came back to haunt them.
McGinn admitted he was frustrated the team's attacking play went unrewarded.
"Overall I felt we played very well and just didn't score in the first half or work the keeper as much as we could," said McGinn.
"We got into good positions and put in crosses but despite the good football, the goal didn't come.
"At this level if you don't score when you're on top of teams you could pay a price and Bosnia were always capable of creating chances. Any time they went forward they didn't create a lot but they did take their big chances.
"It's about those fine margins in international football, the dominant team from the first to the 96th minute but we've come away with nothing.
"I was delighted from a personal point of view that Michael gave me the nod to play. Big Josh (Magennis) picked up a niggle and I've looked sharp in training, I felt comfortable in the game and got at the fullback. I'm delighted to play but am disappointed with the result.
"It's my first start in a while and I've being doing okay at Aberdeen. I thought I created chances for the strikers and got into good positions."
Northern Ireland will now look for a friendly win at home to Israel tomorrow night to ease some of the pain of this result.