'I can only have admiration for the Irish as a nation' - Kasper Schmeichel's tribute to Ireland
Denmark and Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has said that he feels sorry for the Irish people after the Danes crushed Ireland's World Cup hopes with an emphatic 5-1 win in Dublin.
An early Shane Duffy goal was soon cancelled out by a Cyrus Christie own goal, which was then followed by a stunning Christian Eriksen hat-trick and ultimately then compounded by a late Nicklas Bendtner penalty.
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Schmeichel said that he was gutted for the Irish but that he was delighted that his side were finally able to offer that type of performance.
"I can only have admiration for the Irish as a nation," Schmeichel told RTE Sport.
"When the fourth goal went in and the Irish fans started singing Fields of Athenry, it gave me goosebumps."
"I remember sitting in Poland in 2012 watching when the Spain game and they were 4-0 down as well. It gave me goosebumps as well.
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"I'm obviously delighted for Denmark but I'm gutted for the Irish. They are amazing fans and great people.
"But for us it has been a long time coming and tonight we showed what a good team we are."
Schmeichel also sympathised with Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph who he said was 'very unfortunate' to be on the losing side despite conceding five goals, the highest amount of goals he has conceded in a single international.
There was a long, long way to go. All we needed was one goal. Ireland were still under pressure so for us it was still a came of not panicking and we had that feeling we could create chances.
"We created chances at home and didn’t put them away.
"Darren Randolph, even today, had a great game, he is so unfortunate to be on the losing side.
"From our point of view it’s been a long time since 2012 so we are very, very proud."Much of the victory was down to the brilliant of Christian Eriksen with his hat-trick the inspiration behind the win for Denmark.
The goalkeeper described his team-mate as "amazing".
"There are no literally no words to describe how happy I am he is Danish.
"He is one of the best players in the world but take that aside, as a guy and a person in the dressing-room, he is a guy who can take the hopes of the nation on his shoulders and do magic with it.
"He has done it again tonight and it’s not for the first time."