Ireland v Denmark

It's a huge night in Dublin as Ireland look to book a place in Russia next summer

Patrick Madden Tue, Nov 14
LIVE: Ireland v Denmark

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  • 18:40

    Good evening!

    Tonight Ireland take on Denmark at the Aviva Stadium, with a place at the 2018 World Cup on the line.

    Simply put, this is one of the biggest nights in Irish football history.

    Saturday’s first leg was a taught, scrappy affair – but the goalless draw in Copenhagen means things are now pretty straightforward for both sides.

    Only another stalemate will bring extra-time, and a penalty shootout, into play. In order to qualify in 90 minutes, Ireland need to win. The Danes will qualify with a score draw.

    It is fascinatingly poised, and there is a buzz around Lansdowne Road - the type which only surfaces on the truly big sporting occasions. Excitement, butterflies – and that unshakeable feeling in your gut that maybe, just maybe, Ireland are going to do it.

    Martin O’Neill’s men have the chance to join the boys of 1990, 1994 and 2002 in the pantheon of Irish greats - the chance to make it to the Promised Land.

    We will be bringing you all of the build-up and the action, live from the Aviva, throughout the night.

    Here’s hoping it’s one to remember.

    Come on!!!

  • 18:45


    IRELAND: Darren Randolph, Cyrus Christie, Shane Duffy, Ciaran Clark, Stephen Ward; Jeff Hendrick, Harry Arter, David Meyler, Robbie Brady, James McClean; Daryl Murphy.

    Denmark: Schmeichel, Bjelland, Christensen, Kjaer; Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Poulsen; Eriksen, Sisto, Jorgensen.

  • 18:48

    As expected, just the one change to the Ireland side. David Meyler - thoroughly impressive against Serbia and Wales - returns to the starting XI after serving a one-match suspension. Callum O'Dowda makes way.  

    O'Neill has resited the temptation of partnering Daryl Murphy with Shane Long, sticking with a five-man midfield. Long is on the bench, as is Wes Hoolahan, meaning there are impact players there should they be required.

  • 18:59
    As for the Danes, it looks like manager Age Hareide has gone for a change in approach tonight. Chelsea centre half Andreas Christensen - impressive in the recent 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge - comes in alongside Simon Kjaer and Andreas Bjelland. Leipzig winger Yussuf Poulsen also starts, ahead of Andreas Cornelius, in what looks like a 3-4-1-2 formation - with Christian Eriksen scheming behind Pione Sisto and Nicolai Jorgensen.
  • 19:04

    Hoolahan might be Ireland's most creative player, but he's a luxury O'Neill has decided he can't afford to use tonight with so much at stake. In his column today, Ken Early has suggested if Hoolahan comes off the bench it will probably be because things aren't going to plan and Ireland are chasing the game. You can read his thoughts HERE.

    And you can read Emmet Malone's match preview HERE.

  • 19:11
  • 19:21

    Whatever you think about O'Neill's side and their style of play, they have unquestionably provided some of the best nights in Irish football history.

    The win over Germany, that balmy, barmy night in Lille against Italy, the wins against the odds in Vienna and Cardiff - there have been more great moments in the past few years than there were for a decade.  

    A win tonight would arguably trump the lot.

  • 19:22
    Davo Go Ireland
  • 19:22
    That's the spirit Davo.
  • 19:22
  • 19:26
    Do you think the Danish journlists are eating three types of carbs before a game of such magnitude? I doubt it.
  • 19:29

    Yesterday Danish boss Age Hareide - perhaps tongue in cheek - insisted there had been no extra penalty practice for his side in the lead up to tonight's game.

    I would take that with a pinch of salt. The last four European playoffs - starting in Copenhagen on Saturday - have been goalless draws. Chances of tonight bucking the trend and being a goal fest are slim to zero.

  • 19:30
    Ireland to win on penalties is available around the 20s mark, if you think a late night might be on the cards...
  • 19:31
    15 mins until kick off!
  • 19:34
  • 19:35

    Thumbs up from the skipper.

    Things are crackling away nicely at the Aviva, the travelling band of Danes are up for it.

  • 19:35
    Ewan Cowley It's 3.33am here in Taiwan - being awake is the least I can do for Irish soccer. Let's keep faith in O'Neill and Keane no better lads for this gig.
  • 19:35
    Ewan has done his bit. Over to you, lads.
  • 19:36
    The teams are in the tunnel.
  • 19:38
    And out comes Michael D.
  • 19:39
    The last few empty seats are filling up quickly. It's rocking.
  • 19:40
    Time for the anthems.
  • 19:43
  • 19:43
    Here we go. Come on, lads.
  • 19:44
    Ole, ole, ole.
  • 19:45
    Tonight's referee is Szymon Marciniak from Poland.
  • 19:45
  • 19:46
    1 min: Searching ball down the right for Poulsen who gets the flick on, but Ward sees it out. Bit of head tennis on the right touchline before the Danes switch the play through Sisto - Larsen tries to get on the outside but Christie covers across well.
  • 19:48
    2 min: Welcome to Dublin, Christian Eriksen. He gets upended by Brady, and the Danes have a free kick on the right touch line. Eriksen's delivery is towards Meyler at the near post and he gets in a tangle - but it loops off his head into the arms of Randolph.
  • 19:49
    3 min: Ireland already pressing far higher than they did on Saturday - good pressure on the right but the referee gives the Danes a free kick, which as you can imagine wasn't received particularly well.
  • 19:50
    4 min: Hendrick is dispossessed on the edge of the Danish box and Sisto breaks - but Ward slides across to cover. Every Irish touch and tackle is met with a guttural roar.
  • 19:50
    5 min: Kjaer manhandles Murphy in the centre circle, chance for Brady to pump it up to the Danish box.
  • 19:51



  • 19:53

    Brady sends it into the Danish box where Jorgensen tries to intercept, the ball loops off his shin and Duffy is there ahead of Schmeichel to head home. Huge.


  • 19:53
  • 19:53
    Sarah Yay!!
  • 19:54
    8 min: And breathe. It's vital Ireland keep their heads now and try and settle - and the Dane are pressing straight after the goal, Meyler heading away an Eriksen cross. Ireland break up the right through McClean, but he can't force a corner.
  • 19:56
    10 min: The diagonal ball was a weapon for Denmark on Saturday and it nearly works here - Larsen getting in behind Christie and running onto Christensen's pass - but he can only turn it into the side-netting.
  • 19:56
  • 19:59

    12 min: Worth remembering nothing has really changed for Denmark here - one goal will send them through. Much better intensity from Ireland, looking to press higher.


  • 20:00
    14 min: Good spell of possession for the visitors in the Irish third, Christensen with a good ball to the back post where Christie does just enough ahead of Jorgensen.  
  • 20:01
    15 min: Rain lashing down now. The Danes have settled into things now, Ireland standing off a bit more as the visitors knock it around.
  • 20:01
  • 20:01
    What a picture.
  • 20:03
    17 min: What a save Darren Randolph. Very dangerous Danish break, Jorgensen cutting inside and finding Christensen on the right. He pulls it back to Kvist on the edge, and his low effort is heading for the bottom left corner until Randolph gets a big hand to it.
  • 20:04
    18 min: Randolph forced into action again. This time Jorgensen finds Sisto on the left of the box and he chests before volleying straight at the Irish 'keeper. The Danes opening Ireland up with worrying ease.
  • 20:05
  • 20:06
    20 min: Ireland finally break, with McClean surging down the left and cutting it back to Murphy in the box. He takes a touch, but it's poor and the Danes clear - but only for a throw on the far side.  
  • 20:08

    21 min: Christie winds up for a long one and it's cleared out to Arter on the edge, but he drags his left-footed shot well wide.

    Close! Ireland nearly go 2-0 up. They win it back in midfield and it's played to Christie down the right. He plays a perfect ball into Murphy who takes it first time with the outside of his left boot, flicking it a fraction over the bar.

  • 20:09
    23 min: After that spell of Danish pressure the tide has turned again. Ward slides in McClean down the left and he surges towards goal. The angle is incredibly narrow but he has a go, fizzing a low effort inches wide of the far post.
  • 20:12
    26 min: Denmark having a bit more success between the lines tonight, with Sisto the one dropping deep and looking to pull the strings. He finds a bit of space and tries to play in Christnesen - who fails to make the run.
  • 20:14
    28 min: It's Copenhagen repeated as the Danes enjoy a good spell of possession - but Ireland keep their shape well. Sisto is resorted to an effort from distance which is deflected behind for a corner.
  • 20:14



  • 20:16

    Hammer blow. Denmark work the corner short and Sisto does brilliantly, tricking his way to the byline and squaring it to the edge of the six yard-box, where Christensen gets a foot to it. His effort looks to have been cleared by Christie, but it deflects off the Irish right back, into the post and over the line.

    On second look, it's a Christie own goal.


  • 20:17



  • 20:19

    Great goal. Ward gives the ball away on halfway and the Danes break. It's worked infield to Jorgensen who moves it on for Eriksen, who hits it first time from the edge, bar down and into the net. Randolph nowhere near it.

    Ireland need to score twice.


  • 20:21
    35 min: "You only sing when you're winning," sing the Danish fans - who coincidentally happen to be singing after going 2-1 up. Football fans have never really dealt in irony.
  • 20:23
    37 min: It is going to take a herculean effort from Ireland now. The players look like they've had the stuffing knocked out of them.
  • 20:24
    38 min: Long ball from Randolph and Murphy gets a good flick on, but McClean can't pick up the pieces with a swarm of white shirts in front of him.
  • 20:26

    40 min: Ireland not being given much time on the ball and Hendrick gets caught napping by Poulsen.

    Ireland break down the left and the ball is played to McClean at the near post, who takes a touch and then takes a tumble under a Christensen challenge. Hopeful penalty shout at best.

  • 20:28
    42 min: Arter reads it well in midfield and carries, but holds onto the ball too long and misses the run of McClean down the inside right channel. Instead he shifts left and plays Brady into a blind alley - and his cross is into the side-netting.
  • 20:30
    44 min: Denmark clear but only as far as Brady. He carries and then looks to play in Ward on the overlap, but his pass is overcooked and the fullback fouls the covering Christensen as he tries to get to it.
  • 20:30
  • 20:32

    O'Neill is renowned for his team talks and he is going to have to conjure up something pretty special here.

    Maybe it's wishful thinking, but given this scenario was fairly likely Ireland have surely got a Plan B (operation Wes) up their sleeve.

  • 20:33
  • 20:44
    Ireland are back out for the second half.
  • 20:46

    Two changes for Ireland at half time - Wes Hoolahan and Aiden McGeady are on for Meyler and Arter.

    Attack, attack attack!

  • 20:46
    We're back underway in Dublin.
  • 20:48
    47 min: Early pressure for Irleand down the right and Murphy forces Kjaer into conceding a corner - Brady's outswinger is dangerous but it's well turned away by Poulsen.
  • 20:49
    48 min: Ireland break down Denmark in midfield and McGeady has the ball in space but gets caught in two minds and is tackled as he tries to work it onto his right.
  • 20:51
    48 min: Eriksen lofts the ball into the box towards the unmarked Jorgensen but Ward makes a vital intervention. Danish corner from the right. They try to work it short but Sisto is forced to turn and play it back to Larsen, and the Danes try to build back up from halfway.
  • 20:51
    Esben Seerup Great match. Great spirit. Great crowd. I'm a Dane who was in Cph Saturday night. Irish fans deserve Russia-tickets, but not tonight.
  • 20:52
    50 min: Sisto works it onto his right and pulls the trigger but slices it high and wide.
  • 20:55

    53 min: It's all Denmark at the minute. They win it in midfield and it opens up in front of Sisto - he strikes the shot well but Randolph turns it behind comfortably.

  • 20:55

    53 min: It's all Denmark at the minute. They win it in midfield and it opens up in front of Sisto - he strikes the shot well but Randolph turns it behind comfortably.

  • 20:56
    55 min: Ireland win a corner on the left - good delivery from Brady and Duffy towers above his man to win the header but Schmeichel gets his body behind it.
  • 20:58
    56 min: Ireland break and Murphy finds McClean who is fouled on halfway. The ref waves play on and Hoolahan looks to the right, and Ireland win the throw. But then they give the ball away and the Danes break through Eriksen, who is on his weaker foot but carries into the box and rasps one at Randolph. Delaney is following up but it loops up kindly for the Irish 'keeper.
  • 20:59
    58 min: Echoes of Seamus Coleman against Georgia as Christie gives his man twisted blood and gets into the box - Schmeichel having to fist away his cross-come-shot. Temperature rising.
  • 21:00
    59 min: The Danes break through Poulsen who is sent flying by McClean. Everyone is calling a dive but replays show he hit his head on Ward's shoulder while in mid air and the referee was quite right in stopping play.
  • 21:01



  • 21:05

    That's the difference. The Danes work the ball beautifully, bypassing Ireland's midfield with ease and finding Sisto in acres of space. He has a man on the overlap but ignores him, instead turning back inside and finding Eriksen - who takes a touch and curls it left-footed beyond the despairing glove of Randolph. Great finish.

    That's all she wrote.


  • 21:06
    65 min: Danish corner on the right and the ball is cleared out to Christensen, but his half-volley is always rising.
  • 21:08
    66 min: That was the chance to get back into it. Ireland work it well, McGeady finding Ward on the overlap on the left and he picks out McClean unmarked in the middle - but his header is a yard over the bar.
  • 21:11
    71 min: Final Irish change, Shane Long on for Clark.
  • 21:14



  • 21:16

    That's the hat-trick for Eriksen, and what a hat-trick. Cross from the left into the Irish box and Ward makes his second big mistake of the night, failing to get a proper touch on the ball and turning it into the path of Eriksen, who runs onto it and lashes it into the roof of the net.


  • 21:17

    76 min: A deflated Aviva is emptying pretty quickly.

    Sisto goes close from distance as a defiant rendition of the Fields rings around Lansdowne Road.

  • 21:24

    78 min: The Shane Long goal drought continues. He's played thorugh on goal and looks to loft the ball over Schmeichel but can only find the roof of the net.

    Will he ever score again?

  • 21:25
    84 min: Apologies for the lack of updates, the wifi is dying with Ireland's World Cup hopes. This is petering out predictably.
  • 21:29
  • 21:31

    89 min: New man Bendtner cuts into the box and is scythed down by McClean.

    Bendtner to take...

  • 21:31



  • 21:32
    91 min: That fifth adds insult to considerable injury. It's been a bit of a capitulation, and the ground is now pretty much empty.
  • 21:33
    92 min: Neat from Ireland down the left and Ward crosses towards McClean, Ankersen turning it behind for a corner.  
  • 21:34



  • 21:34
    Green shirts hit the deck in unison. The Danes go barmy.
  • 21:41

    So there we go, a pretty miserable end to a marathon qualification campaign. Ultimately the one world class player on the pitch - the magic Eriksen - proved the big difference tonight, but Ireland always looked far more limited on the ball than their Danish counterparts.


  • 21:44

    And still, as glum as you might be right now, there's still a World Cup to look forward to next year, regardless of Ireland's absence.

    Thanks for joining tonight and throughout the qualificaiton campaign. We'll be back - and so will Ireland.

    Emmet Malone's match report from the Aviva will be along shortly.


  • 21:44

    And still, as glum as you might be right now, there's still a World Cup to look forward to next year, regardless of Ireland's absence.

    Thanks for joining tonight and throughout the qualificaiton campaign. We'll be back - and so will Ireland.

    Emmet Malone's match report from the Aviva will be along shortly.