Denmark and Republic of Ireland in dour 0-0 stalemate

Everything to play for in Dublin on Tuesday night

Denmark have been held to a 0-0 draw at the Telia Parken stadium tonight in the first leg of their 2018 World Cup playoff against the Republic of Ireland.

The two sides will now reconvene at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday where Denmark will know that a score draw in 90 minutes will see them through to Russia on the away goals rule.

As quick as Linford
But that will require them to do what they couldn’t manage tonight in front of a partisan crowd: get the better of an inspired goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, and a resolute defence in which right back Cyrus Christie had a particularly good game.

In fact, Christie came the closest to securing Ireland that all important away goal. In a strong final five minutes of the first half for the Republic, he explosively cut in from the right flank to find himself one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel, and the big Leicester keeper didn’t really know much about the save.

Three close calls
Denmark themselves came close to scoring on three occasions. After 13 minutes, Randolph made a superb double save after a fine defence-splitting, cross-diagonal ball from Simon Kjær.

After 34 minutes, Pione Sisto had the ball teed up from 11 metres out but pushed his shot wide.

And then in the final minute of normal time, Yussuf Poulsen should have done better with a close-range header that Randolph clawed over.

Settle for the 0-0
Christian Eriksen, on a long scoring streak for his country, looked his country’s biggest threat, but by the end of the night he was hoofing it along with the rest of his team, as they sank to their opponents’ level.

It wasn’t pretty at times, and the visitors weren’t the only ones to take a cautious approach.

Ahead of the game, Danish coach Age Hareide had said he would settle for a 0-0 draw, as he would be more confident of his side scoring in Dublin.