Republic of Ireland v Denmark

Leicester star Kasper Schmeichel will start in goal for Denmark

Christian Eriksen plundered a stunning hat-trick as Denmark shot the Republic of Ireland's World Cup dreams down in flames to book their ticket to Russian Federation in emphatic style.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill said his side were "well beaten" by Denmark in their World Cup play-off.

In the first leg against Denmark, his side had just 28% possession, while Southampton striker Shane Long, who has 17 global goals, started on the bench for both games.

If Denmark's first goal, an own goal by Cyrus Christie, was a bit disheartening for the Irish, Eriksen's wonder goal in the 32nd minute completely broke them.

Next year's tournament in Russian Federation will be Denmark's fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.

Not surprisingly, McClean, one of Ireland's better performers on the night, was distraught at the end of the game.

"We were well beaten in the end", O'Neill told RTE.

Solid and organised four days ago, and leading early on Tuesday, they completely capitulated, leaving manager Martin O'Neill to face hard questions over his tactics, halftime changes and whether the occasion got to his players.

"We're really disappointed", O'Neill said following the heavy defeat. We saw it against Real Madrid, he's probably one of the best players in his position in Europe at the moment. "We obviously got off to a great start and perhaps James second goal (had he scored) might have made a big difference in the game", he said.

"'Thank you very much for giving us space', because they locked us down in the first leg very well and Eriksen was out of the game, and today he was fantastic."

Asked how far his free-flowing team could go at next year's tournament, Hareide said it would depend on the draw but added that the side wanted to improve and play good football.

"Of course we got a lucky goal when Christiansen scored and after that it was just one-way".

Eriksen, who has scored 21 times in 75 internationals, said there were more goals to come from Denmark in Russian Federation.

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. I take the more clinical shot rather than passing.

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