Sunderland were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Portsmouth in Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.
The Black Cats had led through Aiden McGeady but Nathan Thompson equalised to take the game to extra-time.
Jamal Lowe gave Pompey the lead in the additional period before McGeady grabbed a second to confirm a penalty shoot-out.
It wasn’t to be for Sunderland and Lee Cattermole’s missed spot-kick proved decisive.
Versatile performer Luke O’Nien played the full 120 minutes at the national stadium and looked solid at right-back.
The 25-year-old was a summer recruit from Wycombe Wanderers and had to wait patiently for a chance this season.
He was used sparingly during the first half of the campaign but has now been able to hold down a place at right-back.
Rather impressively he has netted five goals and contributed four assists for Jack Ross’ team this season.
Following Sunderland’s defeat on Sunday, O’Nien took to Twitter to speak of his pride at playing at Wembley, and his disappointment at losing.
The ex-Wycombe man is a popular figure with the club’s supporters and they were quick to support their player.
We rounded up the best tweets in reaction to O’Nien’s emotional message.
absolute legend, played class all game and had the balls to step up and take a penalty ?????⚪️
— Matty Waller (@waller_matty) April 1, 2019
Absolute hero, you’re the perfect type of character for Sunderland
— Lewis Chappell (@WERGHJIGgJ) April 1, 2019
Just got to love this lad. Is like a breath of fresh air.
— Anne (@mariville30) April 1, 2019
No pressure Luke just get us Promotion now ??
— Philip Andrews (@AndrewsPhilip7) April 1, 2019
Well done yesterday, solid performance, fully committed, took a few kickings for the team, huge swingers to step up for penna???⚪?⚪3 points wed please ?
— David Hamblin (@hamftm) April 1, 2019
This lad is the reason we will get automatics. More positivity , get the vibes up. We can do this ?⚪️
— redandwhite_sunderland (@FcRedandwhite) April 1, 2019
Haway the Luke ❤️⚪
— Ashleigh Fish (@littleashlarrx) April 2, 2019
Lifelong contract or riot
— Matty Cain (@MattyCain2) April 1, 2019
The efforts by all the lads is very much appreciated mate. You could see you all ran your socks off just wasn’t to be yesterday. None of us will forget the day though. ??
— Kirk (@cptkirkwalker) April 1, 2019
So glad I managed to get to watch u play one off your boyhood dream. Well done on scoring ur penalty as well. Finally got to see you score a goal xx
— Ceri Saunders (@cerisaunders13) April 1, 2019
Most consistent player this season Luke
— Alan Davison (@AlanDav42277562) April 1, 2019
I saw you and the team get off the train at kings cross on the saturday, your face was beaming with a smile the excitement was clear to see!! Thanks for the memories, great weekend just not the result we wanted ?⚪?⚪
— David Smithwhite (@DavidSmithwhite) April 1, 2019