Result: Republic of Ireland claim first-leg draw in Copenhagen

Result: Ireland claim first-leg draw in Copenhagen
© AFP
Republic of Ireland hold on for a goalless draw in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff against Denmark in Copenhagen.

Republic of Ireland will take a 0-0 draw into Tuesday night's World Cup qualifying playoff second leg against Denmark after holding on for a stalemate in Copenhagen this evening.

The Boys in Green had their backs to the wall almost throughout but were able to claim a creditable result, arguably swinging the tie in their favour ahead of the return fixture in Dublin three days from now.

Pione Sisto wasted Denmark's best chance in a dominant first half but, despite seeing more than three-quarters of the ball, there was to be no way through for the Scandinavian outfit at the Parken Stadium.

Ireland, showing one change from last time out - Callum O'Dowda coming in for the suspended David Meyler - sat deep from the off and allowed their opponents to dominate the ball.

Darren Randolph was forced into a smart double stop 12 minutes in to keep out Jens Larsen and Andreas Cornelius in quick succession, as the hosts started to turn possession into chances.

Next to come close for the Red-White was Christian Eriksen, who struck the ball well from 25 yards out but sent it too central for Randolph to routinely keep out.

Nicolai Jorgensen and Sisto also squandered first-half chances, the latter getting on the end of a parried Eriksen shot but failing to keep the follow-up attempt on target.

Ireland's only opening of any note during the opening 45 minutes fell the way of Cyrus Christie, who almost lofted the ball over Kasper Schmeichel late in the half, before Jeff Hendrick's shot was eventually blocked aside.

Despite the defensive display, the visitors - aiming to reach their first World Cup finals since 2002 - were doing all that was required to keep the opposition out and take a draw into the return fixture.

They managed to achieve that by remaining strong at the back for the remainder, restricting the Danes to minimal clear-cut chances.

Ciaran Clark almost created an opportunity for himself at the other end, meanwhile, and Shane Duffy also headed right down the middle for Schmeichel to collect.

Denmark finished the game on top, though, coming close to snatching a winner through substitute Yussuf Poulsen and Larsen, the former of whom had his headed attempt from six yards out turned over the bar by Randolph.

Jeff Hendrick (L) of Ireland and Karol Linetty of Poland vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifying football match between Poland and the Republic of Ireland at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw on October 11, 2015.
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