Giovanni Trapattoni hailed the Republic of Ireland's spirit after his side produced a resolute defensive performance to earn a point in Russia.
The hosts dominated Tuesday's game but were held at bay by a defensive line in which Richard Dunne and Shay Given were phenomenal performers.
The precious point means the second-placed Republic remain in the hunt for automatic qualification for next summer's finals, sitting two points behind Russia with two games to play.
Trapattoni told Sky Sports News: "We have been a little bit lucky because Russia deserved to score.
"Thanks to our players, thanks to our discipline, our attitude, our mentality, our performance, we achieved a very precious result - one point.
"And I said before yesterday, we must continue on this way and believe step by step."
Qualification rivals Slovakia lost to Armenia on Tuesday, who are now also in the hunt to make the finals.
Trapattoni added his regret was not for the result in Russia, rather the goalless home draw with Slovakia the game before in which his side spurned gilt-edged chances to score.
"But any way we have to continue and think positive," he said. "I believe because the team showed me, showed us, our spirit, our attitude, our mentality, our sacrifice to achieve this result.
"It was important not to lose."