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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the games is at 7.45pm.

We’ll have the team news once we get it.

The team is out. The big surprise is that Callum O’Dowda starts…

Plenty of pre-match reading for you here…

Martin O’Neill tells RTÉ that Robbie Brady will play “midfield” while suggesting O’Dowda will play in the 10 role behind Murphy.

He adds that the two of them can “interact” and “adjust”.

We’re under way…


Denmark have started on the front foot.

The hosts have dominated possession and territory without creating anything yet.


Eriksen bursts forward after Delaney wins the ball.

Christie subsequently does well to stop the Spurs star from shooting.


Ireland have started fairly cautiously.

As I type, all of the visitors’ players are in their half.


Great double save from Randolph.

A cross-field pass by Kjaer finds Larsen, whose volley is saved by the Boro goalkeeper.

The Bray native then does well to react and prevent Cornelius from slotting home the rebound.


Denmark break, but Brady does well to sprint back and nick the ball off Cornelius.

The hosts have had 66% of the possession so far according to RTÉ.


Ireland are struggling to retain the ball for more than a few seconds.

Denmark have had them pinned back for much of this opening 20 minutes.


It’s 2-0 to Denmark on attempts.

Aside from that Randolph double save though, they haven’t looked like breaking down Ireland’s stubborn defence.


After slow, patient build-up play, Eriksen takes a pot shot.

It’s straight at Randolph though, and the goalkeeper saves it comfortably.


McClean wins a free down the left following a needless foul by his Danish marker. Brady’s ball in is then easily cleared

Ireland’s best chance is likely to be from a set piece this evening.


Jørgensen curls a shot towards goal.

It drifts wide and Randolph had it covered anyway.

Ireland have not been overly troubled in this opening half hour.


As impressive as Ireland have defended, they have been pretty anonymous from an attacking viewpoint.

O’Dowda has struggled to get involved so far.


All of a sudden, Denmark go very close.

Eriksen’s shot is parried by Randolph straight to Sisto, who hits it just wide of the post.


It’s now 6-0 to Denmark in attempts.

That gives an insight into how disinterested Ireland have been in attacking.


Ankersen finds himself in a decent position, but his delivery is poor.

Both sides haven’t been great in the final third thus far.


McClean does very well down the left to get a cross in.

O’Dowda’s subsequent shot is blocked.

Better from Ireland!


Chance for Ireland!

Christie sprints through on goal, but Schmeichel gets down well to make the save.

Hendrick’s follow up is then blocked.


An Ireland corner is comfortably cleared by Denmark.

The visitors’ delivery from set pieces has been pretty poor — Robbie Brady needs to do better.


It’s been a decent half from an Irish perspective.

Denmark had those two good chances wasted by Cornelius and Sisto.

Otherwise though, Martin O’Neill’s side have defended resolutely, and could even have gone ahead with that chance from Christie at the end of the half.


“We’ve been terrible. We need Wes Hoolahan on the pitch and, I think, Shane Long… And they’re hopeless”

No prizes for guessing which RTÉ pundit said that.


Here’s a look at what was comfortably Ireland’s best moment of the half.


Aage Hareide Denmark coach Åge Hareide did not look a happy man in that first half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO


A long ball goes towards Delaney, but he can only head it harmlessly out of play.

Denmark look like they’re trying to pick up the tempo, taking free kicks and other set pieces very quickly.


Arter wins the ball in midfield, but overhits a pass.

The Bournemouth star has been a little disappointing in possession this evening.


Daryl Murphy uses his strength and wins a throw, giving Ireland are rare chance to move up the pitch.

Denmark look a little short of ideas at the moment.


It was a pretty brutal first half from a footballing perspective and this second period has been even worse.

Long balls have been commonplace, with quality in short supply.


Eriksen is claiming his attempted cross hit Arter’s hand.

If the referee gave a penalty there, it would have been akin to the decision in the Switzerland-Northern Ireland game the other night.


O’Neill has a go at Arter, after he hoofs it forward, despite having plenty of time to pick a pass.

Ireland are giving the ball back too quickly to their opponents, who are starting to look more threatening.


Denmark make the first change of the match.

Poulsen replaces Cornelius.



Arter takes a blow to the head from the new man Poulsen, winning a free kick in the process.

As I type, the set piece just eludes Ciaran Clark.

With a little over 20 minutes remaining, it’s looking fairly encouraging for Ireland, though a goal for either side will change everything drastically.


It feels like the right time for Ireland to make a change. Murphy has worked tirelessly, but hasn’t had much service. The energy of Shane Long would surely be a welcome boost to the forward line.

As I type, Poulsen strikes a shot from distance just wide.


Nicklas Bendtner has replaced Sisto.

A big roar greets his arrival on the pitch.


Ireland make a change.

As anticipated, it’s Long replacing Murphy, who has produced the archetypal ‘thankless task’ shift.


Bendtner gets the ball in a promising position.

Randolph comfortably collects his cross, however.


Interestingly, there has yet to be a booking for either side.

Hopefully I haven’t cursed it now.


Arter goes down after Bendtner steps on his ankle.

The Bournemouth star looks like he’ll be okay to continue.


Ireland have a corner.

This is a decent spell for the visitors.


Arter cynically stops Kvist from countering.

He’s lucky to escape a booking, which would have suspended him for the return leg.



Brady’s free kick is hopefully headed on by Clark, but it goes harmlessly out of play.

Ireland have been very wasteful in those type of situations.


Ireland threaten to counter, but Long runs it out of play.

The Southampton man needs to show more composure in those instances.


Ireland aren’t happy.

Long’s shot clearly deflects out of play, but the ref awards a goal kick.


Brady bursts forward but then shoots well over the bar.

That sums up how lacklustre Ireland have been in the final third.


Darren Randolph gets a deserved man of the match, after a couple of fine saves.

Meanwhile, Arter is suffering from cramp and is consequently replaced by Whelan.


O’Dowda escapes Kvist and wins a free kick.

Brady’s ball in finds Duffy’s head, but the attempt is straight at Schmeichel.


Vital save by Randolph.

Poulsen’s header is denied by the Irish stopper, after a good ball in by Larsen.

Moments later, Larsen’s deflected shot is saved by Randolph.


Denmark are rallying late on, but Ireland deserve a draw.

Meanwhile, Conor Hourihane is replacing Jeff Hendrick with about a minute to go.




So 0-0 and it’s all to play for at the Aviva on Tuesday.

It’s an excellent defensive performance from Ireland in a game that was short on quality.

Ireland barely threatened and had a few nervy moments at the back, but probably just about deserved the draw.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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