Republic of Ireland fail to secure automatic place in Euro 2020 with 1-1 draw to Denmark in final qualification match

18 Nov

The Republic of Ireland will need to rely on the play-offs to reach Euro 2020 as they could only draw with Denmark.

Mick McCarthy’s side needed a win to book their place in next summer’s tournament but a 1-1 result means they did not automatically qualify.

Martin Braithwaite made Ireland’s task harder with a second half goal but Matt Doherty’s later equaliser made it a frantic finish but the winner could not be found.

Martin Braithwaite scores for Denmark
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David McGoldrick returned to the Republic of Ireland starting line-up for Monday night’s Euro 2020 decider against Denmark.

The Sheffield United striker, who missed last month’s double-header in Georgia and Switzerland through injury, was included in one of three changes to the side which lost 2-0 in Geneva as he, Matt Doherty and Conor Hourihane replaced Aaron Connolly, the suspended Seamus Coleman and James Collins.

Denmark coach Age Hareide also made three changes to the side which beat Gibraltar 6-0 on Friday evening with Henrik Dalsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen and Andreas Cornelius returning to strengthen the side.

David McGoldrick challenges for the ball against Denmark
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In a frenetic start to the game, the Danes were dealt an early blow when midfielder Thomas Delaney appeared to turn an ankle as he challenged Alan Browne.

Delaney had treatment on the pitch and then on the sideline, but was unable to continue as was eventually replaced by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with just 13 minutes gone.

Browne sent a dipping 37th-minute volley just wide of Schmeichel’s far post and McGoldrick blasted a rising effort from distance just too high with Ireland enjoying their best spell of the first half, but the deadlock remained unbroken.

Egan failed to re-appear after the break and was replaced by Ciaran Clark as the Republic embarked upon a huge 45 minutes.

Clark saw a 49th-minute header from Hourihane’s corner deflected over by Poulsen, and Schmeichel only just managed to beat away Hourihane’s driven cross seconds later after he had played a second set-piece short to Doherty.

However, the home side’s hopes were dealt a fatal blow with 17 minutes remaining when Martin Braithwaite stretched to get his toe to Dalsgaard’s ball into the box and divert it past Randolph to open the scoring.

There was a further twist when Doherty powered a downward header from Stevens’ 85th-minute cross past the helpless Schmeichel to set up a grandstand finish but they could not find the winning goal they needed.

Matt Doherty equalises for Ireland
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