Christian Eriksen didn’t turn up on Saturday but he more than made up for it tonight.
A goalless draw in Copenhagen looked to have made it advantage Republic of Ireland, with Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark as captain for the night.
When Shane Duffy scored after six minutes tonight, it looked like the plan was coming together for Clark and his Newcastle teammate Rob Elliot, who had to leave the squad to attend his uncle’s funeral and missed this final qualifier, where he was set to be on the bench once again.
The dream lasted 23 minutes before an own goal just before the half hour mark, quickly followed by a goal three minutes later from Christian Eriksen.
A double substitution at half-time for Ireland didn’t do the trick and Denmark continued to dominate, Eriksen adding further goals on 63 and 73 minutes to grab a hat-trick and end Irish hopes.
Then just when you think it can’t get any worse, Nicklas Bendtner added insult to injury, winning a penalty and then scoring it himself.
A final scoreline of 5-1 was very harsh but Christian Eriksen had proved to be the class act that separated the two teams.
Former Magpie Daryl Murphy played the full 90 minutes, whilst Ciaran Clark was subbed between the third and fourth goals, as Martin O’Neill gambled on another striker (Shane Long).
Daryl Murphy will be 39 by the time the following World Cup is held in Qatar, whilst Newcastle’s Clark and Elliot will be 33 and 36 respectively. Sadly it could well be all their hopes of ever appearing in a World Cup finals are now at an end.