Euro 2020 qualifiers: Republic boss Mick McCarthy disappointed with conceding 'bad goal' in Denmark draw

Doherty levelled the score with an 85th-minute header
Doherty levelled the score with an 85th-minute header

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy admitted he was "disappointed" with the goal his side conceded in their must-win Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark.

Martin Braithwaite ran off Matt Doherty to open the scoring before the Republic defender headed a late equaliser in a tense 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium.

The Republic miss out on automatic qualification but can still make the finals via the play-offs in March.

"We've fallen asleep and conceded a bad goal," McCarthy told Sky Sports.

"I'm disappointed with that, but overall very pleased with the performance.

"I'm very proud of the players and immensely proud of their reaction after conceding."

While failing to beat Denmark leaves the uncertainty of the play-offs, McCarthy is confident that the Republic can secure a spot at next summer's finals if they produce a similar level of performance.

The Republic's potential play-off semi-final opponents include Wales and Slovakia, both of whom play on Tuesday night.

"I said beforehand, if my players and my team leave everything on the pitch, I'll take the result that comes with that, so I've got to take a defeat," said McCarthy.

"They left everything and a bit more out there. If they play like that in the play-offs, we can beat anybody."

Martin Braithwaite opened the scoring for Denmark in the 73rd-minute
Martin Braithwaite opened the scoring for Denmark in the 73rd-minute

McCarthy felt as though the Republic perhaps could have done "better" with the chances they created, but was quick to point out that they lost only one of their eight qualifiers.

That defeat was away to Switzerland - Group D's top seeds - in October, three days after being held by Georgia in Tbilisi.

"You just need that bit of luck," said the former Wolves and Ipswich boss.

"We had opportunities I thought and perhaps could have done better with them, but I'm not going to criticise the lads - I thought they were brilliant.

"We've lost one game out of the eight and that was away in Switzerland. Apart from that, they've been terrific and I'm really proud of them.

"If we could have gotten that 15-minute onslaught without having conceded, who knows, but it's all hypothetical - it didn't happen."

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