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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018

'Absolutely clueless. It hurt me watching that:' Keith Andrews slams Ireland's performance

Ireland’s World Cup hopes came to a crashing halt on Tuesday night.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FOOTBALL PUNDIT KEITH Andrews gave a scathing assessment of Ireland’s  World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark, saying that the performance was ‘torture’ to watch.

After an encouraging result from the goalless first leg draw, Ireland went into Tuesday’s second leg with a strong chance of securing a spot in next year’s tournament. But despite taking the lead after just six minutes, Ireland went in at half-time trailing the game 2-1.

Some questionable half-time substitutions were followed by three more Denmark goals after the restart, including the completion of Christian Eriksen’s hat-trick, and a humiliating end to Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

“That half was pure torture, I cannot believe what I’ve witnessed tonight, I really can’t,” said Andrews on the Sky Sports broadcast of the game.

“I spoke at the top of the show about getting the balance right of what we did on Saturday defensively to how we would forge our way into the game in an attacking sense with possession.

I’ve just witnessed gung-ho football. I thought the first half was silly in terms of how we set up. We highlighted Eriksen at the top of the first show on Saturday as the key player.

We kept him so quiet, we sang the players’ and staff’s praises of how well they marshaled him, and to witness what we’ve seen here beggars belief, it really does.”

When asked to sum up Ireland’s performance, the former Republic of Ireland player said, ‘clueless, absolutely clueless. To allow players like they have the space and time in key areas of the pitch.

“I really don’t know what I’ve witnessed tonight. No holding midfielder, lack of cohesion. It was gung-ho football and there was only going to be one winner.

They were craving space to play in. We shut up shop on Saturday, we were so impressive defensively and tonight was so clueless. It hurt me watching that.”

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