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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Brilliant Christian Eriksen brace punishes Wales three days after impressive Ireland win

Ryan Giggs’ side suffered a disappointing defeat thanks to a brace from the Tottenham playmaker in Aarhus.

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN BROUGHT Wales crashing back down to earth as the midfielder settled a scrappy Nations League encounter 2-0 in Denmark’s favour.

Ryan Giggs’ side had dismantled Ireland in the group opener days earlier, but against Denmark – at full strength after resolving their sponsorship row – they lacked a cutting edge.

Gareth Bale, wearing the captain’s armband, struggled to influence play and Eriksen instead proved the difference with a fine first-half strike and a penalty after the break.

This functional Denmark side profited on the occasional Welsh mistake to take two big chances, handing out a lesson in competitive internationals to opponents depending again on young talents like Ethan Ampadu.

Thomas Delaney and Bale sent left-footed drives fizzing wide at either end in a low-key opening half-hour, but Eriksen was clinical when his first opening arrived.

The Tottenham man controlled in the area to drill against the foot of the post and in, with only an instinctive one-handed Wayne Hennessey stop then keeping Pione Sisto from lashing in a quick second.

Wales started the second half on the front foot but made little of their bright spell, unable to create a chance akin to that which Martin Braithwaite passed up after wriggling past Chris Mepham in the visitors’ box.

Once more, though, Eriksen would take his opportunity. Ampadu was penalised for handling Viktor Fischer’s cross and the spot-kick, taken by Eriksen, was smashed home to clinch victory.

Delaney and Eriksen threatened to extend Denmark’s advantage late on but Hennessey was on hand to keep the score respectable.

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