Martin O’Neill’s men finish their Nations League marketing campaign on a excellent observe however are nonetheless relegated to the 3rd tier
The Republic of Ireland completed their UEFA Nations League marketing campaign on a reasonably excellent observe after grinding out to a Zero-Zero draw away to Denmark.
They have been moment perfect in their stalemate at house to Northern Ireland on Thursday however Martin O’Neill’s men have been significantly better in opposition to the Danes – who had already secured promotion to League A – by way of struggling with to every other goalless draw.
However, they wanted the assistance of the woodwork on an evening on which they failed to muster a unmarried try heading in the right direction. They have no longer scored in 397 mins of soccer, whilst their 9 games in 2018 have yielded only a unmarried victory.
O’Neill, who passed Southampton’s 18-year-old Michael Obafemi a debut as a second-half change, will take positives from a gritty show, however will as soon as once more face questions over his group’s loss of ambition, one thing which can have to trade radically if they’re to mount a reputable bid for Euro 2020 qualification.
Enda Stevens loved an early get away when, having misplaced full-back Peter Ankersen, he seemed to tug the full-back’s blouse within the penalty space, however crucially no longer in the opinion of Azerbaijani referee Aliyar Aghayev.
The Danes, who trounced the Republic 5-1 in Dublin 12 months in the past, have been surging ahead in numbers and skipper Christian Eriksen noticed a goal-bound effort blocked by way of Shane Duffy sooner than Yussuf Poulsen whistled his follow-up simply off track.
Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman bundled the ball towards goal as Robbie Brady’s mis-hit 13th-minute shot rolled into his path, but it took another block by Duffy to deny striker Nicolai Jorgensen after Poulsen’s clever flick had put him in on goal.
With Lasse Schone, Eriksen and Poulsen orchestrating behind frontman Jorgensen, the visitors found themselves having to defend deep.
They survived once again 14 minutes before the break when Poulsen headed Schone’s teasing cross tamely at goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
Brady curled a 34th-minute free-kick into the side-netting after Schone’s foul on Jeff Hendrick had handed Ireland a rare opportunity.
However, Coleman had to be in the right place at the right time to block Jorgensen’s shot after Randolph had palmed away Ankersen’s dangerous low cross and Eriksen clipped a free-kick inches over Randolph’s crossbar as the half drew to a close.
An off-balance Poulsen skied over from close range within two minutes of the restart, with Tottenham schemer Eriksen, who scored a hat-trick in Dublin 12 months ago, having made way at the break, and Coleman put his body on the line once again to block Martin Braithwaite’s well-struck 54th-minute effort.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg drilled over from distance two minutes later with the Republic camped deep inside their own half and they very nearly succumbed with 21 minutes remaining.
Defender Richard Keogh dwelt on the ball and was robbed by Jorgensen, who raced in on goal and beat Randolph, only to see his shot come back off a post and substitute Lukas Lerager blast the rebound high over.
Obafemi arrived with 10 minutes remaining, but found himself engaged in a rearguard battle as the visitors clung on to their point.