Denmark coach thanks O'Neill after Eriksen runs riot in Dublin

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Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Denmark was finely poised heading into the second leg in Dublin this evening after a 0-0 draw in the first match.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen scores to complete his hat-trick.

"After scoring one goal it was a big knock for Ireland, we got a lot of confidence and started to play good football", said Eriksen, who plays for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

In the first leg against Denmark, his side had just 28% possession, while Southampton striker Shane Long, who has 17 worldwide goals, started on the bench for both games.

But Age Hareide's men stuck to their task and a Cyrus Christie own goal was followed by Christian Eriksen's superb hat-trick before Nicklas Bendtner's penalty capped a brutal Danish demolition job.

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

Solid and organised four days ago, and leading early on Tuesday, they completely capitulated, leaving manager Martin O'Neill to face hard questions over his tactics, halftime changes and whether the occasion got to his players.

Not surprisingly, McClean, one of Ireland's better performers on the night, was distraught at the end of the game.

"We're really disappointed", O'Neill said following the heavy defeat.

"That's the name of the game, we have to go for it".

"We're in this stage here and we thought we could win this game, but we didn't win the game, we were well beaten in the end and we have to take this punishment". We are very much looking forward to it.

"The goals are so sloppy when you look back at them".

"Of course we got a lucky goal when Christiansen scored and after that it was just one-way".

Former Leicester and Celtic manager O'Neill's defensive style of play has often been criticised and his side scored three or more goals in a single game just once in their 12 qualifying and play-off matches.

"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 take the more clinical shot rather than passing.