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Republic of Ireland boss O'Neill tips hat to 'world-class' Eriksen in defeat

Republic of Ireland boss O'Neill tips hat to 'world-class' Eriksen in defeat
From ESPN - November 14, 2017

Martin O'Neill admitted his Ireland team were "well beaten" by a "world-class" player in Christian Eriksen after Denmark's 5-1 win in Dublin claimed a place at next year's World Cup finals.

"He played very very well," said O'Neill of Tottenham playmaker Eriksen after the second leg of a playoff. "He's a top class player and he proved it tonight."

Eriksen grabbed a hat-trick as Denmark powered past the Irish having conceded a sixth minute goal to Shane Duffy's header. "It's a real disappointment, obviously," O'Neill told reporters at the Aviva Stadium. "We were well beaten in the end after we got off to a really good start."

After a 29th minute Cyrus Christie own-goal, Eriksen seized the initiative three minutes later with his first goal.

"The pair of goals in the space of a couple of minutes knocked us for six," said O'Neill. "They were really poor goals to concede. We definitely needed a second goal."

Both Daryl Murphy and James McClean went close before Denmark's equaliser. And after making two attacking changes in bringing on Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan at halftime to no avail, Eriksen grabbed two more goals before Nicklas Bendtner completed the scoreline in the 90th minute.

"We were chasing the game," O'Neill admitted. "We made a couple of changes. Denmark took advantage of us, and deserve to be through. They had a world class player playing in their team."

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