Denmark claim last European spot at World Cup after thrashing Ireland

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Denmark booked their spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation after recording a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in their second leg play-off tie.

After a combative 0-0 in the first leg at Copenhagen, the Irish stormed the pitch to take an early lead through Shane Duffy in the 6th minute.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Ireland.

Yet a raucous home crowd in Dublin had been treated to the flawless start when Robbie Brady's free kick from just beyond the halfway line was flicked on by Denmark's Nicolai Jorgensen.

The Irish were much improved from their toothless first-leg display and had a couple of chances to increase their lead, with Daryl Murphy and James McClean both going close. It was around the half-hour mark that Denmark turned the match around with two valuable away goals. Sisto Emirmija's incisive run and low cross found Andreas Christensen, who knocked the ball off the post before the rebound took a deflection off of Republic of Ireland defender Cyrus Christie and found the back of the net for 1-1.

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This time, their perseverance eventually paid off in the 29th minute.

Three minutes later, an unmarked Eriksen put the Danes in front with an unstoppable finish off the underside of the crossbar after the visitors broke forward on the counter-attack.

The Tottenham man produced some attractive goals in the process, grabbing two of them in the second half. Nicklas Bendtner came on in the 84th minute as another stage of his recuperating career, and scored from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the 89th minute.

Eriksen scored two more goals, showing his complete superiority on the pitch, suggesting that Ireland's lack of a World Class player in this encounter left them out of the World Cup.

Then he was given a gift for the final one, that all but assured Denmark qualification and killed off the hopes of the Irish.