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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Danes hit Gibraltar for six ahead of Dublin decider while Switzerland edge Georgia

The Danes warmed up for Monday’s showdown with a comprehensive win over the group minnows.

Eriksen celebrates a goal for the Danes (file pic).
Eriksen celebrates a goal for the Danes (file pic).
Image: Imago/PA Images

DENMARK GEARED UP for a decisive European Championship qualification date with Ireland in Dublin next Monday as they thrashed group whipping boys Gibraltar 6-0 at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

The result, coupled with Switzerland’s 1-0 home win over Georgia at the Kybunpark in St Gallen, means Ireland will have to beat the Danes by way of any scoreline if they are to automatically seal their spot in next summer’s continental showpiece.

Robert Skov and Christian Eriksen each scored twice — the latter netting both of his goals in the final eight minutes — as Denmark put their amateur visitors to the sword, battling difficult conditions to pull away comprehensively in the second half.

Their lead was only 1-0 at the break, Skov capitalising on a comedy of errors to bundle home off the floor — with an assist from his own hand — on 12 minutes.

Christian Gytkjaer added a second just after the break before the floodgates opened: Martin Braithwaite, Skov again, and then Eriksen on the double saw the Danes towards Dublin in fine fettle, their tails up.

Ireland’s task would probably have been made more difficult had Switzerland only drawn with Georgia: a point for the Swiss instead of three on Friday night likely would have meant Mick McCarthy’s men would have had to beat Denmark by two clear goals in order to go through — this due to the tiebreaking rules in the event that three teams finish level on points at the top of a group, during which they’re essentially ranked in a mini league based only on games between them.

With 13 minutes of normal time remaining, however, the Swiss struck through a powerful header by Cedric Itten, a goal which simplifies Ireland’s mission on Monday — that is unless Switzerland draw in Gibraltar.

Barring that freak result, an Ireland win by any margin at the Aviva Stadium will be enough to see them through to Euro 2020 while a draw will suffice for their visitors.

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