'It was my fault' - Ireland captain blames himself for Denmark's crucial goal

'It was my fault' - Ireland captain blames himself for Denmark's crucial goal
Martin Braithwaite put Denmark 1-0 up. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

One lapse in concentration cost Ireland a direct ticket to the Euro finals, according to captain Shane Duffy.

Denmark's Martin Braithwaite edged between Duffy and Matt Doherty with 17 minutes remaining of Monday's qualifier to stab a volley beyond his former Middlesbrough team-mate Darren Randolph in the Irish goal.

Mick McCarthy’s side had by that stage begun getting forward in droves searching for the elusive winner that would usurp the Danes for an automatic route to next year’s finals. Though they did discover it with five minutes left, it was an equaliser rather than lead goal.

“It was my fault because I played him (Braithwaite) onside,” he admitted the skipper for the night.

“There was a lack of communication between me and Matt. We make mistakes together and we win together, as simple as.

The higher level we go up when you can’t make mistakes, you get punished. To qualify for major tournaments that’s something we are going to have to learn from.

“That slight little error we made all game and they punished us. It was a sloppy goal to concede.”

Once behind, Ireland had nothing to lose and so their tall threat was thrust into attack. He was in the box when Doherty headed in the equaliser and caused Kasper Schmeichel some uneasy moments as the home side scrambled for a late winner.

“We’ve played Denmark so much that they know what to expect from me,” said the Brighton and Hove Albion defender.

Conceding so late in the game almost killed us but the fans kept us going. They rallied us into that equaliser and we threw the kitchen sink. It just didn’t drop for us.

“We can take positives from today into the March play-off. We’re not out of this yet.”

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