WORLD CUP QUAL­I­FIERS

Evening Times - - SPORT - By STEVE NAILOR

NICK­LAS Bendt­ner has warned the Repub­lic of Ire­land that Den­mark will be ready to go all the way to the wire to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

The Danes will ar­rive in Dublin on Tues­day evening hav­ing been booed off by sec­tions of the home crowd at the Parken Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day night af­ter Ire­land frus­trated them for 90 min­utes to snatch a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their win­ner­takes-all play-off.

One way or an­other, there has to be a win­ner at the Aviva Sta­dium and Bendt­ner in­sists he and his team-mates will fight to the death to se­cure their ticket to Rus­sia.

The 29-year-old Rosen­borg striker said: “We’re go­ing down there to try to win the match. I can’t say what’s go­ing to hap­pen, but we’re pre­pared to play 120 min­utes if that’s what it takes.

“I think it will be a dif­fer­ent match. They know that they can’t play a match where they have to stay so deep. They know that they have to come out and try to score, so I think it’s go­ing to be a lit­tle bit more open.

“They will come more out, which al­lows us to get more space. It will be a more in­ter­est­ing match.”

Den­mark dom­i­nated much of Sat­ur­day’s game and cre­ated a se­ries of chances, only to be de­nied by the ex­cel­lence of Ire­land keeper Dar­ren Ran - dolph.

I f some of the lo­cals among a crowd of 36,189 were less than im­pressed on the fi­nal whis­tle, Bendt­ner was not too down­hearted with a score draw in Dublin enough to see his team through.

He said: “The goal for us was to win the match, 100 per cent. We also had the best chances and with a lit­tle bit more luck, we could have scored one.

“But we maybe have a slight ad­van­tage in that if both teams score a goal, we will be the ones who go through.”

Ire­land’s ap­proach in Copen­hagen was prag­matic to say the least with lone striker Daryl Mur­phy handed the thank­less task of try­ing to bat­tle the home de­fence with lit­tle sup­port be- fore Shane Long took up the ba­ton.

Bendt­ner, who played un­der man­ager Mar­tin O’Neill at Sun­der­land, is ex­pect­ing more of the same at the Aviva, but is hop­ing for a dif­fer­ent re­sult.

He said: “Ire­land didn’t really sur­prise us. Maybe we thought they would come more out of the blocks and try to at­tack more in num­bers in­stead of just kick­ing the ball away and hop­ing to hit a player.”

MEAN­WHILE, Cyrus Christie has chal­lenged the Repub­lic of Ire­land to win the World Cup war against Den­mark af­ter edg­ing the bat­tle in Copen­hagen.

He said: “It was very tough [on Sat­ur­day], but it was tough for Den­mark as well.

“I’m sure they knew they were in for a game and we won the bat­tle.

“We had chances and I don’t think they had too many chances.

“We kept them quiet and, at the end of the day, we could have won it.

“Now we go back to our home ground and we will be full of con­fi­dence. We re-as­sess, we get ready for Tues­day and we can hope­fully make it a spe­cial night.

“It’s a mas­sive night and hope­fully we can rise to the oc­ca­sion.”

Nick­las Bendt­ner is ready to go the full 120 min­utes to knock Ire­land (in­set) out of the run­ning for 2018

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