Republic of Ireland 0-0 Denmark: Martin O'Neill's side pick up first point of Nations League campaign
Republic of Ireland v Wales is live on Sky Sports on Tuesday
Last Updated: 14/10/18 1:23pm
Republic of Ireland picked up their first point in the Nations League after holding Denmark to a goalless draw at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday night.
Denmark, who beat Martin O'Neill's side 5-1 in the World Cup play-offs last year, created the best opening of the first half, Pione Sisto curling an effort against the foot of the post.
After the break, Harry Arter, who was recalled to O'Neill's starting line-up following his row with assistant manager Roy Keane, kept the scores level, clearing Simon Kjaer's header off the line, but in the absence of the injured Christian Eriksen, the visitors struggled to break down the stubborn hosts.
In what was a dramatic ending, Ireland thought they should have had a penalty when Shane Duffy went down in the area under a challenge from Henrik Dalsgaard, but referee Javier Estrada booked the Brighton defender as the match ended all square.
During what was a relatively quiet first half, the big moments came at the start and the end.
With Arter down injured, Denmark were looking to kick the ball out of play but Jeff Hendrick had other ideas, nicking the ball off Thomas Delaney before racing through on goal. However, with just Kasper Schmeichel to beat, the Burnley midfielder fired wide of the near post.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph (7), Doherty (6), Christie (7), Duffy (6), O'Dowda (6), S Long (8), McClean (7), Hendrick (7), Keogh (7), K Long (6), Arter (7).
Subs: Stevens (7), Robinson (6), O'Brien (n/a).
Denmark: Schmeichel (7), Kjaer (7), Jorgensen (6), Dalsgaard (7), Stryger Larsen (6), Delaney (8), Braithwaite (7), Schone (6), Sisto (7), Dolberg (6), Poulsen (6).
Subs: Christensen (n/a)
Man of the match: Thomas Delaney
Denmark finished the first half the stronger of the two sides but they were denied a breakthrough when Matt Doherty did well to atone for an earlier error, blocking Martin Braithwaite's goal-bound shot before Sisto's curling effort struck the foot of the post.
Republic frontman Shane Long found himself isolated too often during the first half and O'Neill looked to rectify that by bringing on Enda Stevens in place of Callum O'Dowda, but it was the visitors who continued to dominate possession at the start of the second half.
They very nearly made the pressure tell 13 minutes after the restart when Kjaer glanced Lasse Schone's corner towards the far post, but Arter was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.
Martin O'Neill made six changes to the Republic of Ireland side that lost 4-1 to Wales in their Nations League opener. Richard Keogh, Matt Doherty, Harry Arter, James McClean, Kevin Long and Shane Long all came into the starting line-up.
Denmark made just one change from their win over Wales, Kasper Dolberg replacing the injured Christian Eriksen.
But it was Ireland who might have snatched the lead with 18 minutes remaining when Cyrus Christie ran on to Shane Long's lay-off and thumped in a rising shot which Schmeichel had to beat away.
O'Neill's men enjoyed their best period of the game as time ran down, but Darren Randolph had to make late saves from Braithwaite and Delaney to ensure it finished all square, although Duffy was aggrieved not to be awarded a stoppage-time penalty after he felt he had been bundled to the ground.
Republic of Ireland have now kept four clean sheets in their last five meetings with Denmark (W2 D2 L1), losing 5-1 in the other in November 2017.
Ireland are now without a win in four competitive games (D2 L2), with three of those matches coming against Denmark (D2 L1).
This was the first time that Ireland have ever failed to score in a home match against Denmark in the ninth such encounter.
Ireland are winless in their last seven competitive meetings with Denmark (D4 L3) since a 2-0 win in a Euro 1980 qualifier in May 1979.
Four of Denmark's last 10 matches in all competitions have finished as goalless stalemates, and four of their last six have been draws (two 0-0, two 1-1).
Denmark goalkeeper Schmeichel has kept a clean sheet in eight of his last 10 appearances for the national team.
Man of the Match - Thomas Delaney
In the absence of their injured talisman Eriksen, Denmark needed someone to step up and Delaney did just that, delivering an excellent midfield performance.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder controlled things for his side in the middle of the park with an all-action display, helping his side to a point which takes them to the top of Group B4.
Republic of Ireland face Wales, who are set to be without Gareth Bale, on Tuesday in a crucial Nations League match, live on Sky Sports.
Denmark are also back in action on Tuesday, facing Austria in a friendly, also live on Sky Sports.