Tuesday 17 July 2018

Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney comes up with priceless description of the miserly Irish defence

Thomas Delaney of Denmark is fouled by James McClean of Republic of Ireland during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-off 1st Leg match between Denmark and Republic of Ireland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Thomas Delaney of Denmark is fouled by James McClean of Republic of Ireland during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-off 1st Leg match between Denmark and Republic of Ireland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

If Ireland do overcome Denmark to qualify for next year, our defensive structure will be a big reason for it.

Despite only operating with 35pc possession, Ireland only coughed up three chances of note in last night's goalless draw in Copenhagen.

Shane Duffy's aerial dominance, the tireless workrate of the Irish players and Darren Randolph's shot-stopping ability have made Martin O'Neill's men incredibly difficult to break down.

Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney summed up Ireland's watertight defence with a brilliant soundbite.

"We can live with the result today," he told Danish sports magazine Tipsbladet.

"We can draw 1-1 against Ireland, and then we are on. So that's OK, but it was a hard fight - as expected and feared. We tried and tried, but it was a bit like opening a can of baked beans with your bare hands - it takes time.

"I would like to see that we had put one in the first half. We have chances, but it's not an easy team to meet and I expect and hope they try a little more in Dublin, and then we can get a little more space."

Martin O'Neill is likely to at least be a little more ambitious on Tuesday night and admitted that his side may need two goals to advance.

He said: "With the players that they possess, I believe that they are capable of scoring a goal, so it means we might have to score two to win the match.

"That's the way I am looking at it, and we will have to show a bit more creativity during the course of the game at the Aviva. But I think we are capable of doing that."

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