Denmark 1 Republic of Ireland 1.
Ireland earned a potentially priceless point against Denmark on Friday night in Copenhagen. Mick McCarthy’s side came from behind to draw the Euro 2020 qualifier 1-1, with man of the match Shane Duffy hammering home a brilliant header late in the second half.
Here is how we rated the players:
Darren Randolph – 8
The Middlesbrough goalkeeper was named Championship goalkeeper of the year for his performances last season when he kept 19 clean sheets. Randolph has also been Ireland’s most dependable player over the last 18-months, arguably the only one not to suffer a dip in form in the final months of Martin O’Neill’s reign.
On Friday evening against Denmark, Randolph once again proved his importance to the national team, making several saves – one of which in the second half looked to be a certain goal as Poulsen shot from eight yards out. He could do little about Denmark’s goal.
Seamus Coleman – 6
Despite his excellent form at club level, Matt Doherty was always unlikely to start ahead of Coleman, who finished the season strongly with Everton. Coleman is the Ireland captain and his performances for the national team have been consistent. He had another solid display against the Danes and set the tone with some aggressive challenges.
Shane Duffy – 9 (Man of the match)
Some Denmark players identified Duffy as Ireland’s most dangerous attacking threat, and they weren’t wrong. The Brighton defender came the closest to scoring in the first half when he almost bundled the ball over the line after a fantastic free-kick from Hourihane.
However, Duffy was also excellent defensively, making several impressive and vital contributions. He set the tone early with a strong tackle and was a match for everything the Danes threw at him.
Duffy’s tackle to prevent a Christian Eriksen shot from the edge of the penalty area was stunning and this one on Braithwaite wasn’t bad either.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 7, 2019
He also carried the ball effectively from the defence and look composed in possession.
Duffy then rescued a point for Ireland with a towering header at the back post. His best performance yet for Ireland.
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) June 7, 2019
Richard Keogh – 7
After an impressive season at club level with Derby County, where he was an ever-present as Frank Lampard’s side reached the play-off final, Keogh appears to have cemented a place beside Duffy in the heart of Ireland’s defence. And he showed why on Friday night.
Keogh was impressive alongside Duffy, making a number of important blocks and interceptions. On a number of occasions, Denmark found space in the area behind Ireland’s midfield, but the Derby defender did his part in keeping them at bay, putting his body on the line and reading the game well.
Enda Stevens – 7
Earning his ninth cap, Stevens was aggressive and effective. He won several challenges and was always prepared to overlap and support Ireland’s forward players.
Glenn Whelan – 6
Whelan was excellent against Georgia in March and fully warranted a start against the Danes. The midfielder, recently released by Aston Villa, was tasked with keeping tabs on Eriksen and understandably found it tough as most of Denmark’s moves came through the middle of the pitch.
Conor Hourihane – 6
Hourihane’s deliveries were brilliant. The Aston Villa midfielder created Ireland’s best goal scoring chance of the first half with a wonderful free-kick that reached Duffy at the back post and almost ended up in the back of the Danish net.
The Corkman is a master in dead ball situations but struggled a little on the night to get to grips with the Danish midfield.
Delayed Conor Hourihane free-kicks always spell danger. Shane Duffy's double connection unfortunate but credit Schmeichel for holding his ground #denirl #rtesoccerhttps://t.co/xyydabdL7Y pic.twitter.com/6KoLiDpCKW
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 7, 2019
Jeff Hendrick – 5
Anonymous for large spells of the match, Hendrick also failed to close down the cross that led to Denmark scoring.
Robbie Brady – 5
The Burnley midfielder can still be an important player for Ireland and replicate his form from Euro 2016. However, his display against Denmark showed that Brady still has some way to go before he is back to his best. The Dubliner was off the pace and understandably so given his limited playing time over the last few months at club level.
James McClean – 6
He worked hard but had little end product. McClean was a little sluggish in possession and didn’t create much in the final third. The Stoke winger had Ireland’s best opening but delayed his shot and watched Schmeichel make a comfortable save. He saw another shot saved late on.
David McGoldrick – 7
The Sheffield United forward was named man of the match for his performance against Georgia and while he wasn’t as impressive against Denmark, he still played his part in a positive result. McGoldrick linked play, showed some lovely touches and was an important part in helping Ireland get up the pitch. He has cemented his place as Ireland’s first-choice centre-forward.
Alan Judge – 7
Judge set-up Ireland’s equaliser with an excellent cross for Duffy.
Scott Hogan & Calum Robinson – N/A
Not on long enough to rate.