Christian Eriksen's treble breaks Ireland's hearts and sends Denmark to Russian Federation


The Republic of Ireland's World Cup dream was brough to a horrific end on Tuesday night as Christian Eriksen scored a hatrick to help Denmark on their way to Russian Federation next summer.

The result sees Denmark cement their place at next summer's World Cup from the European qualifiers, alongside Sweden, Switzerland and Croatia.

"We conceded two really sloppy goals in a matter of minutes and it was a long way back after that".

A suffocating goalless draw in Copenhagen was followed by a rollicking affair in Dublin, one which the Irish started superbly, taking a sixth-minute lead through Shane Duffy.

It was Denmark who got the next goal as Eriksen found the back of the net with a composed finish to complete his hat-trick.

The former Republic of Ireland global was highly critical of manager Martin O'Neill who selected a diamond formation against Denmark, a change from his defensive five-man midfield which played in Copenhagen on Saturday.

"We were well beaten in the end", O'Neill told RTE.

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Ireland boss O'Neill predicted his side would need to score two goals to end their 16-year World Cup appearance drought and that briefly looked like being the case when Sisto's nutmeg of Harry Arter from a short corner led to Denmark's leveller.

O'Neill said: "The group have shown great determination, a great old spirit, this is the play-offs, this isn't the first match of a tournament, we've got to the play-off here in this competition".

"That's the name of the game, we have to go for it". The Tottenham forward was given too much time on the edge of the area and fired the ball home - with Ciaran Clark and Duffy unable to reach him.

There was time for another goal for the visitors when they awarded a penalty in stoppage time.

"We'll take this with us and try to score as many goals as possible at the World Cup as well", said the midfielder, who doused former worldwide defender Lars Jacobsen, who was broadcasting for Danish TV, with champagne as he celebrated.

"We can not ignore that Eriksen delivered an incredible performance and probably played his best global game, in my opinion", Bendtner told reporters. The second goal was the most technical one, better than the others.

Denmark's Andreas Christensen takes a shot that went in off Cyrus Christie for their first goal.