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

Keane and Schmeichel pose with the Charity Shield in 1997

Keane and Schmeichel pose with the Charity Shield in 1997

Denmark's Christian Eriksen got a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Ireland in their play-off second leg on Tuesday to help secure the final European berth at next year's World Cup.

The goal put him on a record 11 goals in World Cup qualifying for his country.

Ireland boss O'Neill predicted his side would need to score two goals to end their 16-year World Cup appearance drought and that briefly looked like being the case when Sisto's nutmeg of Harry Arter from a short corner led to Denmark's leveller.

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.

The former Republic of Ireland worldwide was highly critical of manager Martin O'Neill who selected a diamond formation against Denmark, a change from his defensive five-man midfield which played in Copenhagen on Saturday.

"It's a insane feeling right now, we've been fighting together for so long", Eriksen said.

"We conceded two really slopping goals in a matter of minutes and it was a long way back after that". "We were well beaten in the end after a good start".

The hosts upped the tempo for the rest of the first half, but they were unable to find the equaliser as they went into the break trailing. "We obviously got off to a great start and perhaps James second goal (had he scored) might have made a big difference in the game", he said.

"Clueless. Absolutely clueless. To allow the players like they have the space, the time, in the key areas of the pitch, even the substitutions, Ciaran Clark coming off - unless he's injured - with Ward going to centre-half, I really don't know what I've witnessed". We were more effective than in Parken, the effectiveness is very important in football.

"We can not ignore that Eriksen delivered an incredible performance and probably played his best global game, in my opinion", Bendtner told reporters.

Eriksen, who has scored 21 times in 75 internationals, said there were more goals to come from Denmark in Russian Federation. The ball was worked to the left, where Eriksen struck a first-time shot into the net via the crossbar - giving Ireland keeper Darren Randolph no chance.

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