Eriksen's sparkling hat-trick seals Denmark's World Cup spot

Christian Eriksens magnificent hat-trick inspired Denmark to a 5-1 demolition of the Republic of Ireland in Tuesdays second leg of their play-off in Dublin to clinch a spot at next years World Cup.

Following Saturdays stalemate in Copenhagen, Ireland got their home leg off to the perfect start when Shane Duffy headed them into the lead after only six minutes, but Denmark struck twice before the break and three more in the second half to seal their place in Russia.

The equaliser arrived in fortuitous circumstances on 19 minutes when Cyrus Christie helped bundle in Andreas Christensens effort, but there was nothing lucky about Eriksens thunderbolt for the second or his second-half brace.

Nicklas Bendtner, on as a late substitute, completed the rout in the final minute with a penalty after a clumsy trip on him by James McClean, extending Irelands wait for a first World Cup appearance since 2002.Coach Martin ONeill, who had

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