Belfast Telegraph

Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland: Ireland frustrate Denmark to secure draw in World Cup play-off first leg in Copenhagen

By Gareth Hanna

The Republic of Ireland have secured a 0-0 draw with Denmark in the away leg of their World Cup play-off.

The result continues Ireland's unbeaten record away from home throughout the qualifying campaign.

Denmark did carve out two great chances to open the scores in a dominant first 35 minute period.

Middlesbrough stopper Darren Randolph pulled off a top class double-save 11 minutes in but when Christian Eriksen lashed a 32nd minute effort at goal, Randolph could only palm it out to Sisto. Luckily for Ireland, he somehow managed to screw the rebound wide.

Ireland did haul themselves forward towards the end of the first half and Cyrus Christie's marauding run saw the full-back fly past the defence but his dinked finish was superbly stopped by Kasper Schmeichel.

If the first-half wasn't much of a footballing feast, the second half contained barely a morsel of tasty attacking play. Yussuf Poulsen did give the visitors a 90th minute scare but his header on Larsen's cross was close enough to Randolph for the keeper to tip over.

But with the defensive tactics employed by a hard-working Irish side, it was perhaps a case of job done. Now a victory in Dublin and Martin O'Neill's men will be off to Russia.

Eight of Ireland's starting XI were one booking away from missing the second leg but all managed to escape the referee's notebook, meaning the full panel will be available for the return leg at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm). Ireland will also, of course, welcome back captain David Meyler from suspension.

Here's the game as it happened:

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