Browne, Hourihane and Egan shine but impressive Ireland denied by Danes

Browne, Hourihane and Egan shine but impressive Ireland denied by Danes
Bandon native Conor Hourihane reacts after a missed chance. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

THREE Leesiders played their part in a brave Ireland effort in the Aviva, but a 1-1 draw wasn't enough to secure a Euro 2020 qualifying berth.  

The Republic of Ireland team that started and featured three Leesiders. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
The Republic of Ireland team that started and featured three Leesiders. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland still have a playoff to come next March, with the draw taking place this Friday morning, but Denmark and Switzerland push on.

Mick McCarthy opted to start John Egan, Alan Browne and Conor Hourihane but the Danes did enough to grind out a draw. Hourihane and Browne both came close to opening the scoring but Denmark got the crucial first goal.

Bishopstown's John Egan heads the ball away. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Bishopstown's John Egan heads the ball away. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ireland levelled late on through Matt Doherty after he headed in an Enda Stevens cross to set up a grandstand finish but the winner the crowd craved never arrived.

It was a generally tight and cagey affair in the opening 45 minutes, and the first shot in anger for either team arrived as Christian Eriksen saw his driving effort blocked down well by Shane Duffy.

Bandon native Hourihane threatened for the Irish not long afterwards with the best opportunity of the opening period but he fired straight at Schmeichel.

Fellow Corkman Browne went close through an effort on the half volley, after David McGoldrick did well to knock down a Glenn Whelan long ball into his path.

McGoldrick himself fired over from distance after Hourihane teed him up, as Ireland had the better of the opening half exchanges overall.

Ringmahon Rangers graduate Alan Browne shoots on goal last night. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Ringmahon Rangers graduate Alan Browne shoots on goal last night. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland began the second half impressively and on the front foot. 

They continued to go in pursuit of that crucial breakthrough, as Ciaran Clark headed over.

The momentum by the midway stage of the second half was with the hosts, with McGoldrick shooting over the bar with an effort on the turn.

But then, quite against the run of play, the Danes struck. 

Martin Braithwaite was on hand to touch the ball home vitally inside the box from a fine cross by Henrik Dalsgaard.

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