We may need to score twice, admits O’Neill

Martin O’Neill has warned his players that they may have to score twice to beat Denmark to a place at the World Cup finals in Russia.

“With the players that they possess, I believe that they are capable of scoring a goal, so it means we might have to score two to win the match. That’s the way I am looking at it, and we will have to show a bit more creativity during the course of the game at the Aviva. But I think we are capable of doing that,” he said.

“Urged on by a big crowd as well... We have a lot to play for, anyway.”

Ireland were indebted to goalkeeper Darren Randolph for their clean sheet at the Parken Stadium as he pulled off three important saves to keep them level, although he was relieved to see wideman Pione Sisto steer wide of an open goal after he had repelled Eriksen’s first-half effort.

“Darren Randolph is a very fine goalkeeper and I thought he made a very good save, an excellent save, and the one he tipped over the bar. That’s the way he’s been playing for us during the course of this campaign. The players put a big effort into the game. It would have been great if we could have scored a goal, but I think the game is evenly poised for the second leg.

“[Denmark boss] Age [Hareide] said last night in the press conference that he thinks they are capable of scoring at the Aviva — I wouldn’t doubt that.

“We just have to win the game. We have to score goals to win the match. We would obviously want to be better with the ball in Dublin when we are playing in front of our home fans — and in all honesty, we will need to be if we have to score a goal.”

Hareide was disappointed after seeing his side threaten to take a meaningful advantage to Dublin, but hopeful that there is more to come.

“0-0 at home is not a bad result. A goal away will be very vital for us. They don’t score two many times. We will go to Dublin and try to get that goal.”

Hareide was less than impressed at the suggestion that it had been a poor game and is confident a similar performance at the Aviva will see Denmark through.

He said: “You can say what you want, but I wouldn’t say it was a poor game. We created chances. We had the ball 65%.

“We played well enough to win. If we play like this in Dublin, we win. You can say what you want, that’s your choice. I have my opinion, OK?”


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