World Cup Qualifying - European - Play-off - 2nd Leg
R. of Ireland1Denmark5

Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark (agg: 1-5)

Christian Eriksen
Eriksen has scored 11 goals in this qualifying campaign for Denmark

The Republic of Ireland failed to reach the World Cup as Christian Eriksen's hat-trick gave Denmark an emphatic victory in the play-off to reach Russia 2018.

After a goalless first leg, the hosts made the perfect start by scoring after just six minutes as defender Shane Duffy nodded in his second international goal when the visitors failed to clear a free-kick.

But the Danes netted twice in the space of three first-half minutes, courtesy of Cyrus Christie's own goal and Eriksen's stunning strike.

That left the Republic - who could have gone further ahead after taking the lead, but saw striker Daryl Murphy flick an effort into the side netting and winger James McClean drive wide following a slick team move - needing to score twice more to qualify.

But in the second half Tottenham midfielder Eriksen curled in from the edge of the box and then thumped in from inside the area to secure his treble and seal the tie.

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner came on with six minutes to go and slotted a late penalty after he was brought down as Denmark, who failed to qualify for Brazil 2014, booked their trip to Russia next year.

Hat-trick scorer Eriksen said: "It's an incredible feeling. We've been fighting for so long to get to the World Cup. We are very much looking forward to it. It's not often I score any hat-trick so of course it is incredible.

"I know how nervous I was all day and night. We got the ball, we played better than the first game."

Eriksen punishes individual errors

Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland have now failed to qualify for the last four World Cups

Martin O'Neill's Ireland side had lost just one of their previous 11 competitive games at home and they were heading to a World Cup for the first time since 2002 when Brighton's Duffy nipped in ahead of Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel for the opener.

However, having decided to sit back on their advantage and play on the counter-attack, individual errors saw the game turn in Denmark's favour.

When the speedy Pione Sisto worked space on the left and played in Andreas Christensen, the Chelsea centre-back's effort came back off the post, but Christie was unable to react quickly enough to clear and only managed to send the ball into his own net.

With the Republic rattled, they conceded again just three minutes later. Burnley's Stephen Ward gave the ball away in his own half and the visitors constructed a swift attack that ended with Tottenham's Eriksen curling in via the crossbar.

The home side pushed forward in the second period, but Eriksen found space on the edge of the box to finish off a break for his second, before Ward's miss-control in his own area allowed the Spurs midfielder to slam home his side's fourth.

"The second one was the most technical one, better than the others," said the 25-year-old.

"Mentally I have grown up. I take the more clinical shot rather than passing. I am thinking more like a striker."

Eriksen now has 21 goals for his country, 11 of which came in this qualifying campaign.

With a minute remaining, there was still time for further disaster as McClean tripped Bendtner in the area and the striker stroked home the fifth Danish goal from the spot.

O'Neill and assistant Roy Keane agreed new contracts with the Football Association of Ireland back in October but questions are now likely to be asked as to whether they are the right men to take the country forward.

Danes continue impressive year

Denmark fans celebrate
Denmark's best showing at a World Cup is reaching the quarter-finals in 1998

Veteran manager Age Hareide took over after Morten Olsen's failure to reach Euro 2016 and under his guidance the team end 2017 unbeaten, having claimed five victories and four draws.

They last suffered defeat over a year ago when they were beaten by Montenegro, but once they went ahead against the Republic they controlled the game, keeping possession and clinically taking their chances.

They could have had more than five, with former Wigan midfielder William Kvist forcing Darren Randolph into a stunning, full-stretch save low to his right, while the Middlesbrough goalkeeper also pushed away Sisto's drive.

"It was very good, especially when we came from behind," said Hareide. "We didn't get stressed. We tried to play and we got the goals.

"I am very pleased with the team and the performance. This is a difficult place to play football - scoring five goals against the Republic of Ireland does not happen.

"I was surprised. They played with a diamond and that gave us lots of space and I just say thank you very much.

"Eriksen is a fantastic player. An inspiration for those around him. He is a world class player. The lads stuck together and gave a fantastic performance in a difficult game."

Denmark, who have qualified for only the fifth time, will now wait to find out the result between Peru and New Zealand (Thursday, 02:15 GMT) to see whether they are in pot 2 or pot 3 for the tournament.

The first leg between the Peruvians and Kiwis ended goalless in New Zealand.

If the South Americans go out, Denmark will go into the higher pot as one of the second seeds alongside fellow European teams England, Spain and Switzerland.

Super Eriksen - the stats

  • Republic of Ireland have failed to qualify for the last four World Cup finals.
  • Ireland conceded five or more goals in a home game for the first time since October 2012 against Germany (6-1).
  • Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 14 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (11 goals, three assists), 10 more than any other Denmark player.
  • Eriksen has scored more goals in European 2018 World Cup qualifiers than any other midfielder.
  • Cyrus Christie is the first player to score an own goal for Republic of Ireland since Ciaran Clark against Sweden in June 2016.

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

  • 23Randolph
  • 2Christie
  • 20Duffy
  • 3ClarkSubstituted forLongat 71'minutes
  • 17Ward
  • 18MeylerSubstituted forHoolahanat 45'minutes
  • 22ArterSubstituted forMcGeadyat 45'minutes
  • 10Brady
  • 13Hendrick
  • 8Murphy
  • 11McClean

Substitutes

  • 1Westwood
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5McShane
  • 6Whelan
  • 7McGeady
  • 9Long
  • 12O'Dowda
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 15Hourihane
  • 16Doyle
  • 19Hogan
  • 21Long

Denmark

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 6Christensen
  • 4Kjaer
  • 12Bjelland
  • 17Stryger LarsenSubstituted forAnkersenat 54'minutes
  • 7Kvist
  • 8Delaney
  • 20PoulsenSubstituted forCorneliusat 70'minutes
  • 10Eriksen
  • 23Sisto
  • 9JørgensenSubstituted forBendtnerat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Jensen
  • 3Vestergaard
  • 5Ankersen
  • 11Bendtner
  • 13Jorgensen
  • 14Knudsen
  • 15Braithwaite
  • 16Lössl
  • 18Lerager
  • 19Schöne
  • 21Cornelius
  • 22Ronnow
Referee:
Szymon Marciniak
Attendance:
50,000

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamDenmark
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home11
Away18
Shots on Target
Home2
Away10
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Denmark 5.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Denmark 5.

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Peter Ankersen.

Attempt blocked. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daryl Murphy with a headed pass.

Goal!

Goal! Republic of Ireland 1, Denmark 5. Nicklas Bendtner (Denmark) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Penalty Denmark. Nicklas Bendtner draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by James McClean (Republic of Ireland) after a foul in the penalty area.

Andreas Christensen (Denmark) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt saved. Andreas Cornelius (Denmark) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

Foul by Pione Sisto (Denmark).

Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Denmark. Nicklas Bendtner replaces Nicolai Jørgensen.

Attempt missed. Andreas Cornelius (Denmark) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Shane Duffy.

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

Hand ball by Shane Long (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt missed. Pione Sisto (Denmark) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

Andreas Christensen (Denmark) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland).

Goal!

Goal! Republic of Ireland 1, Denmark 4. Christian Eriksen (Denmark) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Shane Long replaces Ciaran Clark.

Substitution

Substitution, Denmark. Andreas Cornelius replaces Yussuf Poulsen.

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Stephen Ward with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Thomas Delaney (Denmark).

Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Andreas Christensen (Denmark) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Shane Duffy.

Offside, Republic of Ireland. Stephen Ward tries a through ball, but Daryl Murphy is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Republic of Ireland 1, Denmark 3. Christian Eriksen (Denmark) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pione Sisto.

Foul by Thomas Delaney (Denmark).

Cyrus Christie (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark) because of an injury.

Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McClean (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Denmark) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Thomas Delaney.

Attempt saved. Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France107211861223
2Sweden106132691719
3Netherlands106132112919
4Bulgaria104151419-513
5Luxembourg10136826-186
6Belarus10127621-155

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal109013242827
2Switzerland109012371627
3Hungary104151414013
4Faroe Islands10235416-129
5Latvia10217718-117
6Andorra10118223-214

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany1010004343930
2Northern Ireland106131761119
3Czech Rep104331710715
4Norway104151716113
5Azerbaijan103161019-910
6San Marino100010251-490

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia1063120101021
2R. of Ireland10541126619
3Wales10451136717
4Austria104331412215
5Georgia10055814-65
6Moldova10028423-192

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland1081128141425
2Denmark106222081220
3Montenegro105142012816
4Romania103431210213
5Armenia102171026-167
6Kazakhstan10037626-203

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England108201831526
2Slovakia106041771018
3Scotland105321712518
4Slovenia10433127515
5Lithuania10136720-136
6Malta10019325-221

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain109103633328
2Italy107212181323
3Albania104151013-313
4Israel104061015-512
5Macedonia103251515011
6Liechtenstein100010139-380

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium109104363728
2Greece105411761119
3Bos-Herze1052324131117
4Estonia103251319-611
5Cyprus10316918-910
6Gibraltar100010347-440

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Iceland10712167922
2Croatia106221541120
3Ukraine10523139417
4Turkey104331413115
5Finland10235913-49
6Kosovo10019324-211
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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