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Saturday 14 December 2019

Gallant effort falls just short as play-offs now beckon for Ireland

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 1

Shane Duffy reacts after Ireland went behind to Denmark. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shane Duffy reacts after Ireland went behind to Denmark. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It's the pain of the play-offs for the Republic of Ireland as a draw at home to Denmark last night has denied Mick McCarthy's side their straight passage to Euro 2020.

And defender Enda Stevens admitted that the boys in green just came up short against Denmark, who advance to the finals along with Switzerland.

Ireland now await the outcome of tonight's group games before they learn the identity of their opponents in the play-offs in March.

Slovakia are potential foes in a semi-final and then a possible clash with Bosnia four days later in a one-off final - if they can win that semi.

A Matt Doherty header on 86 minutes cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's lead goal but a draw was enough for the Danes and that sends Ireland into the play-offs, despite a positive display last night.

Having scored just seven goals in the eight group games, McCarthy's side need to find a steely edge to go through to the finals.

"We fell short in the end, we are gutted," said Stevens after the 1-1 draw.

"We played well, we pushed and created chances but the final ball let us down.

"We did play well, the fans can see we that gave it our all. We pushed for the win but couldn't get it in the end and now we go on and try our luck in the playoffs."

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