Christian Eriksen vs Ireland

The fourth and final of the first legs in the UEFA playoffs to the 2018 World Cup was a rather dull affair in Copenhagen, as Denmark couldn’t find a way through a disciplined Ireland defense, the match ending in a 0-0 draw.

Ireland didn’t leave any room for Christian Eriksen to feed the Danish forward with passes. Denmark doesn’t have players with individual ability to beat Irish defenders one on one, so all that was left were long range shots and crosses.

Denmark did come close a couple of times in the first half, especially in the 31st minute, when Pione Sisto of Celta Vigo missed a comfortable opportunity from close range after a previous parry by Randolph. 

In the second half, Yussuf Poulsen of Red Bull Leipzig, coming on for the disappointing Cornelius, was Denmark’s dangerman, testing Randolph a couple of times, and coming close with a powerful header in the 83rd minute, parried to a corner by the Irish goalkeeper.

Denmark had possession (63-37) and the bulk of the chances, but their arsenal of offensive options, like it is for Ireland, is quite limited, which made it quite easy for Martin O’Neill’s players to defend everything the Danes had to throw at them.

Now it’s two days of rest, and then the second leg in Dublin, where Ireland will surely be slight favorites, although the second match shouldn’t be that different; Ireland are comfortable hanging back, but will probably be a tad more daring the second time around. Denmark have to figure out a way to bring more players into the Ireland box, and somehow throw their defense off balance from time to time.

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