Ireland 1-5 Denmark World Cup 2018 play-off: match report, goals, action
A Christian Eriksen hat-trick put Ireland out of the World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night after Ireland took an early lead.
Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark: match report
Denmark are the latest side to be added to the growing list of teams that will be playing in Russia next summer. They qualified at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night despite Ireland taking an early lead through Shane Duffy.
After a frustrating display that ended in a goalless at Parken Stadium for both sets of fans on Saturday night, Denmark and Ireland came out to play more freely in the second leg. They had to as Ireland were the home side and Denmark were the favourites.
The game started just as Ireland would have hoped when Shane Duffy headed home a long ball after six minutes. The home side, expected to be on the ropes for a lot of the game were really testing the theory that scoring too early is not a good thing. Denmark had a full 84 minutes to figure out a way past Ireland's backline. After some early success with chances, they knew they were onto something too.
They managed to draw level and go ahead on away goals after turning the screw following the goal and Andreas Christensen turned home Pione Sisto cross on 29 minutes. That trouble was compounded for Ireland when Christian Eriksen sent a strike home in off the crossbar just three minutes later on 32 minutes and Ireland's hopes hung by a thread.
Two substitutions by Martin O'Neill at the break, removing two central midfielders, meant the game opened up for Eriksen and Ireland, who were already fighting an uphill battle were left wide open.
Eriksen scored his second and third just over ten minutes apart on 63 and 74 minutes to really put Ireland's World Cup ambitions to bed. The first a curler after receiving the ball from Pione Sisto from the left. His second was the result of a mistake by Stephen Ward as he drove his hat-trick strike to the back of the net.
The final nail in Ireland's coffin was when Bendtner stroked a penalty home just before the 90th minute when James McClean had hauled him down inside the area.
It ended 5-1 at the Aviva on a night to forget after quite a promising result in the first leg for the Irish. Denmark will be in Russia next summer while Ireland will have to get to planning for Euro 2020 in the hope of making a dent in that qualifying campaign.
Ireland vs Denmark live stream online: as it happened
Republic of Ireland vs Denmark live online: match preview
The second leg between these two sides is finaely poised following the goalless draw in Copenhagen on Saturday and the Aviva Stadium is sure to be jumping as the Irish look to make it to their first finals since 2002. Away from home in the first leg, Martin O'Neil can be forgiven for giving up the vast majority of possession to the Danes but will hope to prove more of an attacking force in front of their 12th man. He knows too that a score draw will be enough for those in green and white to kiss goodbye their trip to the world's footballing showpiece.
Manager Åge Hareide will look once again to his talisman, Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen, to lead his country to the finals in Russia next summer. The creative midfielder has been in sparkling form in the Premier League and Champions League and despite being stifled by a defensively-focused Irish team on Saturday, will hope to find extra space at the Aviva to make things happen. Ahead of him Hareide could select a former north London striker, one who has shone since his move to Rosenburg, albeit at a lower level of competition. Nicklas Bendtner started on the bench in the first leg but may get the nod over Feyenoord's 26-year old, Nicolai Jørgensen.
Ireland vs Denmark live online: betting odds
The bookmakers don't have much between these sides with Ireland just over and Denmark just under 3/1. If you think that it's likely that one of these sides will lead at half time but end up losing the game after 90 minutes then whatever way you choose you can collect just short of 100 euros for just a €2 stake.