Eriksen hat-trick leads Denmark to Russian Federation 2018

Leicester star Kasper Schmeichel will start in goal for Denmark

Leicester star Kasper Schmeichel will start in goal for 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.

The hat trick brought Eriksen's total in this World Cup qualifying campaign to 11. The two goals we conceded within a couple of minutes knocked us.

With last week's first leg having finished 0-0, Ireland made an ideal start to the return match by taking the lead in the sixth minute through defender Shane Duffy.

Republic boss Martin O'Neill shrugged off questions about his tactics, admitting Denmark were the better team on the night, but Andrews raised questions about the space afforded to Eriksen and his team-mates, considering the compact nature of O'Neill's side in Copenhagen on Saturday when they earned a goalless draw.

Ireland were well beaten at home to Denmark on Tuesday night, going down 5-1 to leave their World Cup hopes lying in tatters.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill will speak to the country's football association about his future after failing to reach the World Cup.

The early goal led to an open spell of play, with quality chances at both ends.

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O'Neill said: "The group have shown great determination, a great old spirit, this is the play-offs, this isn't the first match of a tournament, we've got to the play-off here in this competition".

"We were well beaten in the end".

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

"I think we improved our game a lot and of course Ireland let us play a bit more, which we did". We are very much looking forward to it.

"We'll take this with us and try to score as many goals as possible at the World Cup as well", said the midfielder, who doused former global defender Lars Jacobsen, who was broadcasting for Danish TV, with champagne as he celebrated.

"I was surprised. I think they played in a diamond with two forwards and that gave a lot of space in midfield for Eriksen and I just want to say thank you very much for giving him the space!"

Eriksen, who has scored 21 times in 75 internationals, said there were more goals to come from Denmark in Russian Federation. I take the more clinical shot rather than passing.

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