Wed, Nov 15, 3:02pm by Staff Writer
A hat-trick by Tottenham star Christian Eriksen stamped Denmark’s ticket to Russia after the Dane’s triumphed with a resounding 5-1 win in Dublin overnight.
With the tie delicately poised at 0-0 after the first leg in Copenhagen, the teams headed to Ireland with everything to play for, with the last European position in the 2018 World Cup up for grabs.
Ireland got off to a miracle start, with a long free kick headed on by Shane Duffy in the box to send the Dublin crowd into raptures and Ireland to a 1-0 lead.
Just before the half-hour mark the game turned in Denmark’s favour, with defender Cyrus Christie unable to clear a shot from Andreas Christensen which bounced off the post and into the goal.
That was followed by the first of Eriksen’s three goals in the 31st minute, a sublime strike from just inside the box.
The second half started much the same as the first ended, with Eriksen bagging his second and third goals.
A late Nicklas Bendtner penalty sealed the dominating result for Denmark.
This will be Denmark’s first World Cup appearance since 2010 and their fifth overall appearance.
The Dane’s are $61 to win the 2018 World Cup at Sportsbet.
Recapping the other results from the second round of UEFA World Cup qualifiers, Switzerland defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 thanks to a dubious penalty in Basel last week.
The Swiss are $61 to triumph in Russia at Sportsbet.
In the most shocking result of the qualifiers so far, Italy will miss their first World Cup in 60 years after Sweden shocked the Italians.
A 1-0 lead in Stockholm was enough as the teams played out a 0-0 draw in Milan. Sweden are $46 to lift the trophy.
Croatia easily took care of business against Greece, winning 4-1 in Zagreb, before a 0-0 draw in Athens.
The Croatians are the best supported of the four most recently qualified teams, at $31 to win the 2018 World Cup at Sportsbet.
World Cup qualification is drawing to a close, with only Australia and Honduras in Sydney and Peru and New Zealand in Lima to decide the final two spots in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Australia are $1.55 favourites to win in regular time against Honduras at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night. Honduras are $7 and the draw is paying $3.80
The Socceroos had a number of chances to clinch a lead in the two-legged tie, but will be content returning to Australia after a 0-0 result in Honduras last weekend.
Australia are $1.35 to qualify for the next round.
New Zealand and Peru also played out a 0-0 draw in Wellington on Saturday. The All Whites will have it all against them Thursday afternoon, with Peru priced as $1.17 favourites at Sportsbet. New Zealand are $15 to win the match in regular time.
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