Denmark rout Ireland with Christian Eriksen treble to reach World Cup

Denmark Soccer WCup 2018

Kasper Schmeichel in training with Denmark this week. Source Lars Poulsen

Denmark's Christian Eriksen got a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Ireland in their play-off second leg on Tuesday to help secure the final European berth at next year's World Cup.

Eriksen scored two more goals, showing his complete superiority on the pitch, suggesting that Ireland's lack of a World Class player in this encounter left them out of the World Cup.

A pulsating first half at the Aviva Stadium saw the Irish take an early lead through Shane Duffy on six minutes.

Republic boss Martin O'Neill shrugged off questions about his tactics, admitting Denmark were the better team on the night, but Andrews raised questions about the space afforded to Eriksen and his team-mates, considering the compact nature of O'Neill's side in Copenhagen on Saturday when they earned a goalless draw.

And with that heroic performance, Denmark qualifies for the World Cup for the first time since 2010.

"We're in this stage here and we thought we could win this game, but we didn't win the game, we were well beaten in the end and we have to take this punishment".

The former Republic of Ireland worldwide was highly critical of manager Martin O'Neill who selected a diamond formation against Denmark, a change from his defensive five-man midfield which played in Copenhagen on Saturday.

"I'm very pleased for the team, this is a hard place to play football - they're compact and good defensively, so scoring five against Ireland does not happen very often".

Not surprisingly, McClean, one of Ireland's better performers on the night, was distraught at the end of the game.

"It's a insane feeling, we've been fighting together for so long since the qualification started", he said.

"Of course we got a lucky goal when Christiansen scored and after that it was just one-way".

"'Thank you very much for giving us space', because they locked us down in the first leg very well and Eriksen was out of the game, and today he was fantastic."

Eriksen bagged his second of the game on 63 minutes, again producing a superb finish after good work from the effervescent Pione Sisto. "We've been fighting for so long together after the two play-off games, which were very hard, but we got the result and we can be very pleased and I'm looking very much forward to World Cup". I take the more clinical shot rather than passing.

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