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Martin O'Neill: 'Everything to play for in Dublin'

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill says that his players "did splendidly" to restrict Denmark in Saturday evening's qualifying playoff first leg.

Martin O'Neill has hailed the 'splendid' performance of his Republic of Ireland players to earn a first-leg draw in their World Cup qualifying playoff against Denmark.

The Boys in Green, ranked seven places below their opponents in the latest FIFA rankings, had just 28% possession in Copenhagen but held on for a stalemate.

Ireland only had one real opportunity all night, which saw Kasper Schmeichel deny Cyrus Christie before Jeff Hendrick missed from the follow-up, but O'Neill claims that there was little in it.

"I thought it was a tough evening for us and the players did splendidly," Sky Sports News quotes him as saying. "They put a lot of effort in and it's all to play for now. We have to win a game. And I think we have to score a couple of goals because Denmark are capable of scoring too. I'm not so sure they had so many chances.

"Darren [Randolph] has been playing particularly well for us, but overall we restricted them, though we need to be more creative ourselves. We didn't score a goal obviously, but we're still in the tie.

"Control is when you have the ball, but they had the ball and were trying to probe for openings. But when we closed them down they lost their way a little bit. There's everything to go for on Tuesday night."

Ireland are now unbeaten in their last four playoff qualifiers away from home, winning one and drawing three.

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Irish players celebrate next to a dejected Joe Ledley after the World Cup qualifier between Wales and the Republic of Ireland on October 9, 2017
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