Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Denmark qualifies for World Cup with 5-1 rout of Ireland

Denmark Soccer WCup 2018 Kasper Schmeichel in training with Denmark this week. Source Lars Poulsen
Noah Ferguson | 15 November, 2017, 00:49

Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Denmark was finely poised heading into the second leg in Dublin this evening after a 0-0 draw in the first match.

Despite falling behind early, the Scandinavians responded with five unanswered goals to secure their place at Russian Federation 2018, with Christian Eriksen leading the way with a hat-trick in Dublin.

The boys in gren were ahead after just six minutes, Robbie Brady provided a sublime ball into the box, Nicolai Jorgensen flicked it up in the act of clearing, Shane Duffy was waiting to put the ball past Casper Schmeicel in the goal, the dream was alive and well.

The early goal led to an open spell of play, with quality chances at both ends.

But Denmark's players gradually took control in midfield and they were rewarded when Andreas Christiensen's effort went into the net off Ireland's Cyrus Christie in the 29th minute.

Any hopes Republic of Ireland had of turning this two-leg play-off tie around were dashed shortly after the hour mark, as Eriksen struck again with a well-taken second goal, as the Tottenham Hotspur man neatly placed a left-footed finish past Randolph to extend the visitors' lead.

Nicklas Bendtner came on in the 84th minute as another stage of his recuperating career, and scored from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the 89th minute.

Martin O'Neill's side had only managed to score three goals once in this campaign, away at Moldova, and the task was beyond them in the 63rd minute as Eriksen curled another beauty past Darren Randolph before drilling home his third from close range to start the party among Denmark's traveling support. The goal put him on a record 11 goals in World Cup qualifying for his country.

Next year's tournament in Russian Federation will be Denmark's fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.

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