Belfast Telegraph

McCarthy hails late saviour Duffy in Danish rescue act

Head man: Shane Duffy celebrates
Head man: Shane Duffy celebrates

By Daniel McDonnell

Republic boss Mick McCarthy hailed the high standards of Shane Duffy as his header claimed a point in a 1-1 draw with Denmark in Copenhagen.

The Brighton defender's was a key figure at both ends of the pitch, and he was in the right place, with five minutes remaining, to dispatch a free-kick from sub Alan Judge as the Republic bounced back from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's 76th-minute opener.

"We expect that from him," said McCarthy. "He gets his body in the way, he makes blocks and organises things and he's a very good defender. But he's also a threat in the box."

McCarthy admitted that his team survived some hairy moments, yet felt that the equaliser was due reward for their effort.

And he pointed to his side's determination to press on again and look for a winner after Duffy's goal, although that desire came at a cost with Judge breaking his wrist in injury time.

"They've shown that fighting spirit that Irish teams have in abundance," said the manager.

"I don't think anybody can outscrap us and outrun us. Can we be better with the ball? I think we could.

"But I look at that team and there's a great bunch of lads and, with a bit of luck, we might qualify for the Euros.

"That's obviously the objective. Whether that's by trailblazing or hanging in, I'm not bothered, whichever one it is."

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