Wednesday 21 February 2018

Kasper Schmeichel bemoans 'horrendous' state of Parken pitch after stalemate

Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark reacts 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 Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark reacts 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 Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Darren Randolph was the hero and Pione Sisto the villain as the Republic of Ireland scrapped their way to a 0-0 World Cup play-off draw in Denmark.

Randolph produced a fine double save to deny Jens Stryger Larsen and Andreas Cornelius, and then saw Sisto fire wide of an open goal after he had beaten away Christian Eriksen's long-range effort during a torrid first half.

Ireland, as so often in the past, adopted an ultra-conservative approach which saw them create little of note, but they frustrated the Danes and the majority of a crowd of 36,189 at the Parken Stadium for much of a largely unappetising 90 minutes with a functional display.

Randolph's opposite number Kasper Schmeichel was largely a spectator apart from a save to deny Cyrus Christie towards the end of the first half.

The Leicester stopper blamed the state of the Parken Stadium pitch for Denmark's struggles to break down Martin O'Neill's side.

"It was an horrendous pitch which was very disappointing," he said.

"There was no grass on it, it was soft, it took me back to the old days at Bury and in League Two.

"We wanted to play incisive football, so it made a bit of difference, but no excuse. They were very dogged. We are happy they didn't nick anything on the break. But the visiting keeper getting man of the match tells its own story.

"He was commanding, made three or four good saves. All credit to him, I hope he doesn't do it again."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport