Republic of Ireland 1-1 Denmark: Late Doherty equaliser not enough as Danes book Euro 2020 spot

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Matt Doherty cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's strike as Republic of Ireland and Denmark played out a 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium.
Matt Doherty cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's strike as Republic of Ireland and Denmark played out a 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark booked a place at the Euro 2020 finals at Republic of Ireland's expense following a 1-1 draw in Monday's crucial qualifier in Dublin.

Three sides were battling for two automatic qualification spots heading into the final round of Group D fixtures, with Switzerland - 6-1 winners in Gibraltar - going on to claim top spot.

Ireland required victory to have a shot at finishing above their opponents in second and they set up a grandstand finale when Matt Doherty cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's opener late on.

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However, there was to be no dramatic winner for Mick McCarthy's men in the closing minutes, meaning they must settle for a place in next year's play-offs.

Denmark lost Thomas Delaney and Andreas Cornelius in a low-key first half that saw Conor Hourihane come closest to scoring, the Aston Villa midfielder unable to beat Kasper Schmeichel with a tame shot following David McGoldrick's throughball.

Knowing that only victory would do, Ireland stepped things up in the second half and were nearly rewarded 49 minutes in when Hourihane's delivery into the box caused real panic.

Denmark survived that scare and were again grateful as McGoldrick turned and shot high over Schmeichel's crossbar from another rare opening.

But it was the visiting side who made the breakthrough 17 minutes from time through Braithwaite, who watched Henrik Dalsgaard's delightful cross from deep all the way before steering the ball beyond Darren Randolph.

Doherty did power in to head home Enda Stevens' cross with five minutes to play to level the score, but Ireland still have work to do if they are to join the Danes at the tournament.

 

What does it mean? Danish delight in Dublin

This was the sixth competitive meeting between the sides since 2017 - Ireland have failed to win any of them.

Defeat in Switzerland last month left Ireland up against it and they lacked creativity until it was ultimately too late. They finish three points behind Denmark and, considering their recent history, will hope to avoid them in the next qualifying campaign.

Second-half specialists strike again

No side has scored more second-half goals (18, level with Spain) in qualifying than Denmark, with Braithwaite adding to their tally. Age Hareide's men had just two attempts on target all match, though they certainly made their one big opportunity count.

Sloppy Irish defending proves costly

Shane Duffy and Doherty were caught out for Denmark's opener, the duo allowing Braithwaite to ghost in between them and convert Dalsgaard's glorious delivery. It proved to be a crucial error, too, as the home team were unable to score the two goals required in the remainder of a tight contest.

Key Opta facts

- Denmark finish as the only undefeated side in Group D (P8 W4 D4 L0) and have not lost any of their last 17 European/World Cup qualifying matches (W10 D7).
- The first shot of the game came on 26 minutes, courtesy of an effort from Christian Eriksen, the longest wait for the opening attempt in any EURO 2020 qualifier so far.
- All seven of Ireland's goals in the qualifying campaign have come from different players (including one own goal).
- Martin Braithwaite has scored in three consecutive international matches for Denmark after netting just one goal in total in his eight before that.

What's next?

Denmark can now look forward to planning for Euro 2020, with a number of friendlies to be pencilled in before then. As for Ireland, they must go again in the play-offs, which take place in March.

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