Ireland holds Denmark
13 November, 2017, 12:00 am
REPUBLIC of Ireland held Denmark to a goalless draw in Copenhagen in the first leg of the teams’ 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifying play-off tie.
Chances were few and far between in what was essentially a chess match between former teammates turned head coaches Age Hareide and Martin O’Neill.
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph had to make an early save from a driven shot by Andreas Cornelius.
As expected, Republic of Ireland aimed to soak up Danish pressure and looked to punish them on the counter-attack. However, Martin O’Neill’s side were unable to put together any dangerous attacks for most of the half.
Christian Eriksen had a couple of shots on target saved by Randolph in the first half. However, the best chance of the half fell to Sisto Emirmija, who was unable to steer his shot on target after pouncing on the rebound of an Eriksen shot.
Ireland produced their best chance of the match right before half-time when Cyrus Christie went on a powerful run down the left flank, but Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel smothered the opportunity.
Both coaches threw on attack-minded substitutions in the second half, with forward Nicklas Bendtner coming on for the Danes and Shane Long for the Irish. However, neither of them were able to break through their respective opposition backlines.
Randolph made a huge save in the 90th minute from substitute Yussuf Poulsen’s header to ultimately keep the clean sheet for his side.
The tie is perfectly-poised, as the two teams will meet in the second leg in Dublin on Tuesday for a spot at next year’s World Cup.
Man of the Match is Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph. Superb performance from the Wicklow man.