Matt Doherty’s 85th minute goal to equalise this game was not enough to see Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland side through to next summer’s European Championships as Denmark booked their place in the UEFA European Championships 2020 thanks to their draw.
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Doherty’s effort at the back post gave the full-house at the Aviva Stadium hope as a Martin Braithwaite goal inside in the final 20 minutes looked to have sealed an away victory for the Danes.
Despite the usual spirited Irish effort, the Danes, in all honestly were never out of third gear, as for most of the game Age Hareide’s team looked content to settle for a draw, which would also have put them through.
73 mins GOAL DENMARK – Martin Braithwaite gets on the end of a Henrik Dalsgaard cross as the visitors hit the front against the run of playhttps://t.co/ysYaWRki0t #IRDEN #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/Idard9Uv0Y
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Early pressing from Denmark saw them spend most of the opening 10 minutes in the Irish half, with goalkeeper Darren Randolph taking many touches during that period as the visitors pressed deeply in Irish territory.
The visitors suffered an early blow when influential midfielder Thomas Delaney was injured in a tackle in the 12th minute and had to be replaced by Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.
In the 33rd minute, the Danes made their second enforced change when Kasper Dolberg came on for Andreas Cornelius.
Ireland’s only shot on target in the open half fell to Conor Hourihane in the 34th minute, but the Corkman’s effort was weak and shot directly at Kasper Schmeichel who comfortably collected in the Danish goal.
Alan Browne’s snap shot in the 37th minute from outside the box, saw his left footed effort go just wide of the posts, with Schmeichel withdrawing, believing he had it covered.
The clock was in additional time at the end of the opening half before Mick McCarthy’s side won their first corner of the game through James McClean but unfortunately the effort failed to break the deadlock with the sides remaining 0-0 as they headed to the dressing rooms at half-time.
Half-time: Republic of Ireland 0 Denmark 0.
Replacement Ciarán Clarke, who came on for John Egan at the start of the second period, had the Republic of Ireland’s opening effort of this half, when leaning backwards, he headed an Irish corner kick over the posts.
The home side’s lone striker David McGoldrick shot over from close range in the 67th minute as the excellent Irish effort in the second half continued, helped on by a noisy Aviva Stadium crowd.
A toe-poke from Martin Braithwaite in the 73rd minute broke the deadlock in this tense qualifier, just when the Republic of Ireland seemed to be controlling possession. Henrik Dalsgaard sent a dangerous ball into the Irish box with Braithwaite stretching his leg out to score his 7th international goal.
With only 5 minutes of normal time to play, Matt Doherty cropped up at the back post to beat Kasper Schmeichel in the Danish goal, to set up a grandstand finish which included 4 minutes of additional time.
Try as they did, however, McCarthy’s men failed to get the much-needed winning goal which would have sent them though to next year’s soccer showpiece.
With Denmark and Switzerland now going through from the Republic of Ireland’s group, the boys in green have another chance, through the Nations Cup route, to see if they can qualify to play in the 2020 European Championship Finals, with some of the games set for the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Final score: Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 1.
Republic of Ireland starting team
23 Darren Randolph, 2 Matt Doherty, 3 Enda Stevens, 4 Shane Duffy (captain), 5 John Egan, 6 Glenn Whelan, 8 Alan Browne, 9 David McGoldrick, 11 James McClean, 13 Jeff Hendrick, 14 Conor Hourihane.
Republic of Ireland substitutes
1 Kieran O’Hara, 16 Mark Travers, 7 Seán Maguire, 10 Robbie Brady, 12 Callum Robinson, 15 Kevin Long, 17 Ciaran Clark, 18 Jack Byrne, 19 Alan Judge, 20 Josh Cullen, 21 Troy Parrott, 22 James Collins.
Denmark starting team
1 Kasper Schmeichel, 4 Simon Kjaer (captain), 8 Thomas Delaney, 10 Christian Eriksen, 11 Martin Braithwaite, 13 Mathias Jergensen, 14 Henrik Dalsgaard, 17 Jens Stryger Larsen, 19 Lasse Schone, 20 Yussuf Poulsen, 21 Andreas Cornelius.
16 Jesper Hansen, 22 Frederik Rennow, 2 Peter Ankersen, 3 Joachim Andersen, 5 Jonas Knudsen, 6 Andreas Christensen, 7 Robert Skov, 9 Christian Gytkjaer, 12 Kasper Dolberg, 15 Christian Norgaard, 18 Daniel Wass, 23 Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.
Referee: Felix Brych (GER).
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