By Mark Szczuka and Cillan O’Conchuir
Photos courtesy of Stephen Gormley (Redeye photo agency)
Republic of Ireland versus Denmark (World Cup Play-off 2nd leg, Dublin, Tuesday 14 November 2017)
Denmark gained qualification to next year’s World Cup in Russia after fighting back from a goal down to humiliate the Republic of Ireland 5-1 In their second-let play-off.
It started so brightly for Ireland when Robbie Brady’s free kick on the halfway line was misjudged by Nicolai Jorgensen on the edge of the Danish box. He could only flick the ball into the path of Shane Duffy who headed past Kasper Schmeichel for a fifth minute lead.
But after seeing Daryl Murphy and James McClean go close, defensive errors saw Ireland capitulate.
From a short corner Pione Sisto nutmegged Harry Arter just before the half hour and when his cross found Andreas Christensen, the defender’s fluffed effort rolled off the post and in off Cyrus Christie. Three minutes later Stephen Ward’s loose pass saw Denmark counter and Christian Eriksen smashing the ball in off the under side of the bar. It was game over at 2-1 by half-time and while Martin O’Neill threw on Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan, they offered little.
Eriksen completed his hat trick by the 73rd minute and Nicklas Bendtner hammered the final nail into the Irish coffin with an injury-time penalty.
2018 World Cup