Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland v Denmark: Christian Eriksen's hat-trick denies Ireland a World Cup finals place

Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark

By Gareth Hanna

The Republic of Ireland have failed to qualify for the World Cup finals after Christian Eriksen slammed home a world class hat-trick at the Aviva Stadium.

It helped Denmark to a 5-1 win in Dublin, denying Ireland qualification for their fourth World Cup finals.

It had all looked so good for the hosts on six minutes when Derry man Shane Duffy leapt high to head over a stranded Kasper Schmeichel after Robbie Brady's drilled free-kick was flicked into the air by a defender.

Another chance followed for James McClean and it seemed as though the Derry duo could lead Ireland to the finals.

But disaster struck in a catastrophic three minute period around the half-hour mark. First the otherwise impressive Cyrus Christie turned the ball into his own net when Christiansen's effort came back off the post.

And after that, it was the Christian Eriksen show for the Danes. The Tottenham star began by punishing slack defending to give the visitors the lead on 32 minutes.

That left Ireland needing to score twice to reach the World Cup and when the same man curled another delicious effort into the top corner after the hour mark, it was game over for Martin O'Neill's men.

As if to add insult to injury, Eriksen underlined his world class standing when he blasted a third finish into the top corner ten minutes later and there was still time for Niklas Bendtner to slam home a 90th minute penalty to complete the scoring.

As it happened:

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