Dublin: 2°C Sunday 5 December 2021


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Last chance saloon!

Well, sort of.

We all know the scenario at this stage: Ireland must win to qualify for Euro 2020. A draw will be enough for tonight’s opponents Denmark.

If we can’t win tonight, Ireland are at least guaranteed a play-off from the Uefa Nations League which will involve winning two one-legged games to squeeze into the finals.

There are three changes from the Ireland side that lost to Switzerland that will take to the Aviva Stadium pitch tonight.

Conor Hourihane returns to the side alongside David McGoldrick while Matt Doherty comes in for the suspended Seamus Coleman.

We’ll have the team line-ups for you in the next few minutes with the 7.45pm kick-off to come.

The line-ups

Ireland: Randolph; Doherty, Dufy (captain), Egan, Stevens; Whelan, Hendrick, Hourihane; Browne, McGoldrick, McClean. 

Denmark: Schmeichel; Dalsgaard, Jorgensen, Kjaer, Styger Larsen; Schone, Delaney; Poulsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Cornelius

With Home & Away now off the screen, you’ll need something else to pass the time before kick-off.

Have a read of Gavin Cooney’s match preview here. 

Fans are raring to go!

ireland-fans-ahead-of-the-game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

conor-murphy-and-john-clarke Source: James Crombie/INPHO

sean-cleary-and-paul-ronan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

We’re just over 15 minutes away from kick-off. What way is it going to go?

Poll Results:

Ireland win (271)
Draw (248)
Denmark win (183)

The teams are in the tunnel. We’re getting ready to go now!

It’s national anthem time.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Enda Stevens links up with Jeff Hendrick from a throw-in. Denmark clear the ball before it comes back to Stevens.

He feeds the ball to James McClean along the wing but he’s offside. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Glenn Whelan delivers a free-kick into the Denmark box. Lovely touch by David McGoldrick to Hendrick who then tries to link up with McClean but it just doesn’t come off.

But a great start from the hosts who are staying in Denmark’s half of the pitch so far.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Now it’s Denmark’s turn to go on the attack. They’re playing a bit of keep ball in the middle as they pass possession about and try to tease out the Irish defence.

They play a ball through the middle but Shane Duffy is there to control the ball and get us moving again. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Delaney tries to chip the ball into Poulsen but Ireland snuff out the attack and almost send McGoldrick through one-on-one with the goalkeeper Schmeichel.

There’s plenty of positive movement in the Irish team as Duffy reads a pass well again to intercept the ball and boot it clear.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

A tackle on Alan Browne sees Thomas Delaney hit the deck and he’s receiving a bit of treatment at the moment.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Delaney goes off to the sideline and could be in a bit of bother. It looks like he’s not going to be fit to play on.

McGoldrick gets on the ball along the wing and back-heels it to McClean. Again, the ball goes out of play and Ireland will have to reset.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Denmark substitution: Delaney withdraws with that injury and is replaced by Højbjerg. Huge setback for the visitors at a time when Ireland are pressing well. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

John Egan concedes a free for a push which gives Denmark a chance to create something in the Irish half of the field.

However, they’re wasteful in possession and Jørgensen’s attempted cross just trickles in Darren Randolph’s hands.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Matt Doherty adjudged to have put in too strong a challenge in the air on Martin Braithwaite.

Christian Eriksen takes it and the move ends up with a Denmark throw-in that results in a foul on Doherty. 

Ireland get ready to launch another attack.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Denmark’s Cornelius pleads with the referee, claiming he was pushed by Doherty. Replays however show there was barely a nudge. Referee waves play on.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Denmark earn the first corner of the game and Eriksen whips it in. The ball bobs around dangerously before Randolph pounces to gather it safely. 

The visitors are gradually imposing themselves a bit more on the game. Ireland’s passing going astray at times too. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Second corner for Denmark but again they fail to trouble Randolph as McGoldrick gets his head to the ball first to get it out of danger. 

Flag 27Mins

Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Great block!

A long ball comes to Eriksen who lets fly with a volley but Duffy gets his body in the way to deflect the ball away for another corner.

Crucial intervention there and Duffy has been doing well so far. Meanwhile, Cornelius is getting bandaged up following a clash of heads.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Duffy again steps up for Ireland to head away Eriksen’s corner. He’s wearing the captain’s armband with ease tonight. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Cornelius has pulled up with what looks like a hamstring problem. Denmark will have to make a second substitution in the first half. 

Flag 35Mins

Ireland 0-0 Denmark


Conor Hourihane tries to angle a shot around Schmeichel but his shot has no power behind it and the Denmark keeper takes the ball into his chest.

Huge chance there for Ireland after some brilliant build-up play that featured McClean, McGoldrick and Hendrick. 

Flag 38Mins

Ireland 0-0 Denmark


Alan Browne follows up Hourihane’s effort with a thumping volley. Not a bad effort at all as the ball swings just wide of the post. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Not a bad effort from McGoldrick.

He takes a pop at the Denmark top corner but there’s too much air under the shot and Schmeichel watches it sail over. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Silly challenge from Whelan as he gives away a foul in a dangerous area. Eriksen could do something with the ball here.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Relief for Ireland as the ball drifts out over the endline for a goal-kick. Mick McCarthy’s side come straight back up the field and have a throw-in in Denmark’s half.

The move ends with McClean earning a corner for Ireland. 

There’s three minutes of added time.

Flag 47Mins

Ireland 0-0 Denmark


Hourihane’s corner comes back into play. He sifts the ball out to Whelan who whips it in to where Duffy rises up to try and get a head on it.

The ball just whistles by him however. So close for Ireland but they’ve been brilliant in this half.


Some highlights from the first half

alan-browne-takes-a-shot Source: James Crombie/INPHO

james-mcclean-and-pierre-emile-hojbjerg Source: James Crombie/INPHO

conor-hourihane-reacts-after-a-missed-chance Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

james-mcclean-with-henrik-dalsgaard Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Ireland substitution: Ciaran Clark is on for John Egan.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

The reports are that Egan has suffered a calf injury which is why he had to withdraw from the game. Big blow but Ireland have a corner here.

Flag 50Mins

Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Huge chance!

Another massive Ireland opportunity there as the ball lands in the Denmark box from the boot of Hourihane, but they manage to avert the danger.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Yellow card for Whelan following a tackle on Larsen. He did get the ball but the referee seems to think it was over-zealous.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Great stuff from Doherty who cuts through the Denmark cover and whips a cross out to McClean.

McClean and Hourihane play a one-two which ends with McClean drilling the ball along the carpet and straight at a Denmark defender. Another chance passes us by as we hit the hour-mark.

Remember, Denmark only need a draw so they’ll to keep the scoreline as it is.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

McGoldrick wins Ireland’s third corner of the game. Hourihane lets in a great delivery and finds Clark.

But the resultant header floats over the bar. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Another corner for Ireland. This time Hendrick is the one to win it. The ball bounces around the Denmark area before Clark tries to back-heel it towards the goals.

It comes to nothing in the end.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Browne does well to dribble his way through the Denmark defence before the ball is swiped away from his toe.

Moments later, a cross comes to McGoldrick shoots on the turn but the ball drifts skyward. We’re coming into the final 20 minutes of the game.


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Ireland substitution: Callum Robinson comes on for Hourihane. 


Ireland 0-0 Denmark

Hugely important tackle from Doherty to snatch the ball away from Dolberg in the box.


Ireland 0-1 Denmark

What a huge blow!

Ireland looked like they were so close to getting a goal but they got caught at the back and Braithwaite got the perfect touch on a cross to put the ball past Randolp and in the Irish net.

Ireland now have 15 minutes to score two goals to secure the win they desperately need.


Ireland 0-1 Denmark

Yellow card for McClean. 


Ireland 0-1 Denmark

McGoldrick is still trying so hard out there. He gets under a Callum Robinson cross and his deflected header results in a corner.

Ireland sub: Sean Maguire comes on for Whelan.


Ireland 0-1 Denmark

Duffy goes down and Ireland players protest for a penalty. The ref is not interested as McClean lets one fly but his effort is easily saved. 


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

Yes!! Come on!! Matt Doherty gets the equaliser for Ireland from a header at the back post. This is still there for Ireland.

We’re ticking towards the end of 90 minutes. 


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

So close again!

Maguire comes in at the post but the ball goes out for another corner which Hendrick will take. 


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

Four minutes of added time to be played.


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

Great defensive work from McClean to win the ball back. Ireland bring the ball up the pitch and send the ball in dropping from deep.

Schmeichel collides with Duffy in the air and the spilled ball comes to Stevens whose attempted cross sails wide.

Two minutes of the four gone.


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

Another timely intervention from McClean to get back and out-run Eriksen for the ball.

Browne tries a shot at goal but it’s blocked out for a throw. 30 seconds left.


Ireland 1-1 Denmark

Not the result Ireland wanted or deserved.

They tried so hard to get the winner but it wasn’t to be. They showed massive character to rally after conceding that goal from Braithwaite and get the equaliser through Doherty.

It’s a big disappointment but this is not over yet.

Mick McCarthy’s side will now prepare for a qualification play-off. The draw will be held on Friday at 11am. RTÉ News Now will provide the live coverage.

RTÉ analyst Liam Brady called that Ireland’s “best performance in years.”

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