WATCH - James McClean utterly devastated and lost for words after horror defeat
Ireland dared to dream for 29 minutes but the floodgates opened after Cyrus Christies own goal and Denmark condemned Martin O'Neill's side to a 5-1 World Cup play-off defeat.
The delight of Shane Duffy's early header lasted 24 minutes before the Danes took charge and Christian Eriksen grabbed a hat-trick before Nicklas Bendtner's late penalty completed the rout.
James McClean, Ireland's top performer throughout the qualifying campaign, was inconsolable after the game after watching his side being totally dominated.
"I don't know what to say... we shoot ourselves (in the foot)," he told RTE Sport
"They were just better than us... I don't know what to say... I am just devastated, not just for us but for everyone.
"It's been a long campaign and we've just let ourselves down."
It was tough to watch such a committed player suffering so much heartache.