Sunday 25 August 2019

Danish boss believes one goal will be enough to torpedo Ireland's World Cup dreams on Tuesday

Denmark's Christian Eriksen walks off dejected after the game
Denmark's Christian Eriksen walks off dejected after the game
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DENMARK coach Age Hareide believes one goal in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday might be enough to knock Ireland out of the World Cup.

And he thinks a repeat of the performance from tonight's scoreless draw in Copenhagen could deliver that.

Hareide pointed to Ireland's track record in the goalscoring department as evidence that an away goal in Ballsbridge would leave Martin O'Neill's side in a very tricky position.

He honed in on missed chances from Denmark in his analysis of the first 90 minutes.

The Norwegian feels that pressure on Ireland to go in search of a winner in front of their own fans might suit the visitors in the playoff decider. The only game in this qualifying campaign where Ireland have scored more than once in their own patch was last month's comfortable win over Moldova.

"A goal away would be big for us," said Hareide, "Ireland would need to score two and they don't score two goals many times. I think Ireland will have to get forward more, the crowd will probably push them on a bit more and that will give us some space.

"The Irish defend well and that's allowed in football. We have to try and find a way in Dublin and all credit to Ireland, they came to Copenhagen, they defended well, they got one big chance in the first half (Cyrus Christie) and nothing else. They are strong and disciplined.

"I wasn't surprised by Ireland's approach. They are strong on set pieces, long corners and throw-ins. They are good at that but I would be more surprised if they didn't try more at home."

O'Neill's former team-mate responded in a spiky manner to a suggestion that the game was a poor advertisement for international football.

"I don't know what you expect from international football," said Hareide, in response to a question from a visiting journalist. You can say what you want. I wouldn't say that. I don't think it was a poor game.

"We created chances. We had 65pc of the ball and we played well enough to win. If we play like this in Dublin, we'll win."

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