O'Neill bemoans poor goals and missed chances versus Denmark


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.

"It's incredible to take your country to the World Cup with three goals in a playoff", said 25-year-old Eriksen. "After scoring one goal it was a big knock for Ireland and it gave us the confidence to keep going".

In the first leg against Denmark, his side had just 28% possession, while Southampton striker Shane Long, who has 17 global goals, started on the bench for both games.

The Danes booked their ticket to Russian Federation with a brilliant 5-1 win in Dublin, Eriksen's treble sandwiched by a Cyrus Christie own goal and Nicklas Bendtner penalty after Shane Duffy had put the hosts into an early lead.

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.

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

"We were well beaten in the end, no question about that".

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"I am really disappointed", said O'Neill.

That left Ireland needing to score twice to reach the World Cup and when the same man curled another delicious effort into the top corner after the hour mark, it was game over for Martin O'Neill's men.

He said: "We've lost the game, once we've lost the game, I'll have to go have a look at it". We are very much looking forward to it.

"Clueless. Absolutely clueless. To allow the players like they have the space, the time, in the key areas of the pitch, even the substitutions, Ciaran Clark coming off - unless he's injured - with Ward going to centre-half, I really don't know what I've witnessed".

"We highlighted Eriksen as the key player on Saturday and we sang the praises of the staff and players for marshalling him and to witness what we just seen here beggar's belief", he added.

Eriksen bagged his second of the game on 63 minutes, again producing a superb finish after good work from the effervescent Pione Sisto.

Denmark's Andreas Christensen takes a shot that went in off Cyrus Christie for their first goal.