Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland: All to play for after drab draw in Copenhagen

Denmark and the Republic of Ireland played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier Saturday night in Copenhagen.

The Irish now hold the advantage for the return leg in Dublin on Tuesday night.

The Danes were very much on the front foot in the first half and while Martin O'Neill's men improved in the second half, it was the hosts that felt they should have come away with a lead heading into the second leg.

Denmark fail to capitalise on scoring chances

In a game that featured very little in the way of offence, the two best opportunities fell to the hosts.

Denmark had two excellent chances, the first coming from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen.

He took it down and managed got a shot away which was saved by Irish goalkeeper Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but his effort was poor, hitting it straight at the keeper.

The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Eriksen, Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide.

Ireland nearly score against the run of play

Despite having very little of the ball, the visitors nearly found themselves on top late in the first half. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only to see Kasper Schmiechel sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him.

The second half saw an improved Irish performance, but neither side threatened until late on as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved by Schmeichel while Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end.

O'Neill post-game comments

Following the match, O'Neill hailed his players' efforts, saying "It was a tough evening and the players did splendidly," said O'Neill. "We've come out the other side and it's all to play for. We'll have to win a game and we might have to score a couple because Denmark are capable of scoring".

He knows they need to be more offensive in Dublin: "They had one really great chance. Overall we restricted them. An away goal would have been great but we didn't carve out that many chances. We need to be more creative [in Dublin]. We're still in the tie."