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Macdara Ferris in Copenhagen
There were fireworks above the open roof of the Parken Stadium on Saturday night ahead of kick off but it wasn’t a dazzling display on a difficult pitch as Denmark and the Republic of Ireland drew 0-0.
There wasn’t one yellow card brandished on a cold crisp Copenhagen night but it was Age Hareide’s post-match press conference that became slightly heated.
The Denmark manager bristled when an Irish journalist asked who was more to blame for a game that “wasn’t a good advertisement for international football?”
“I don’t know what you expect from international football,” said the Norwegian who coaches the Denmark team. “What’s the problem? You can say what you want. I wouldn’t say that. No, I don’t think it was a poor game.
“We created chances. It is okay to have chances in a game? We had the ball 65%. We played well enough to win. If we play like that in Dublin, we will.”
The Danish manager didn't appreciate being asked whether they'd played a good game of international football pic.twitter.com/CliS7MplTM— The42.ie (@The42_ie) November 11, 2017
His side managed ten attempts on goal to Ireland’s four with five on target, while Ireland only got two on goal. It meant Darren Randolph was certainly the busier ‘keeper.
“We created enough chances to win the game, at least three big chances. We knew that Ireland are hard to break down. We didn’t take our chances and they survived the game here in Parken.
“I said before that a draw 0-0 at home is not a bad result. A goal away will be very vital for us as Ireland will need to score two and they don’t score two goals many times.
Ireland only managed it three times in their ten Group games and Denmark have won their last three competitive games on the road.
“Ireland will need to get forward more and the crowd will push them on and that will give us a little more space. They have the strength in defending. They are strong from set pieces – corners, long throws and free kicks - and it is difficult to handle their big fellows.”
Speaking to the assembled press pitch side after the game, second half substitute Nicklas Bendtner admitted “it wasn’t really an exciting match.”
“We haven’t been to a World cup in a long time (since 2010). There was the excitement, the hype and fireworks (ahead of kick off) but the game was a bit flat.”
For managerial reaction from the Ireland camp see: O'Neill wary of Danish threat in Tuesday’s tie