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FOOTBALL

Denmark to meet Republic of Ireland in World Cup play-off

A two-legged play-off against the Republic of Ireland will determine whether Denmark will participate in next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Denmark to meet Republic of Ireland in World Cup play-off
Christian Eriksen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

Tuesday afternoon’s draw confirmed that Åge Hareide’s team will face the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup play-offs, with the first leg to take place at Copenhagen’s Parken stadium and the return encounter in Dublin.

Denmark finished second to Poland in their qualifying group after a run of four wins and a draw from their last five fixtures – with star player Christian Eriksen scoring in each – saw them charge into the playoff qualification positions.

That run also saw Denmark overtake fellow play-off contender Northern Ireland in FIFA’s ranking system, meaning they avoided meeting high-ranking Italy, Croatia and Switzerland in the winner-takes-all head-to-heads.

The first legs of the play-off matches will be played during the 9th-11th November, with the return games a few days later on the 12th-14th.

In the other play-off fixtures, Northern Ireland play Switzerland, Croatia take on Greece and Sweden face Italy.

READ ALSO: Denmark aiming for World Cup spot after crucial qualifying win

FOOTBALL

‘I’m fine — under the circumstances’: Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital

Christian Eriksen, the Danish football player who collapsed on the pitch in his country's opening Euro 2020 game, said that he was doing "fine" in an Instagram post from hospital on Tuesday.

'I’m fine — under the circumstances': Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital
Danish striker Christian Eriksen tweeted a picture of himself in hospital. Photo: DBU

“I’m fine — under the circumstances, I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay,” he wrote in a post accompanying a photo of him smiling and giving a thumbs-up while lying in bed.

In a scene that shocked the sporting world and beyond, the 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder suddenly collapsed on the field in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game on Saturday against Finland in Copenhagen.

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Medical personnel administered CPR as he lay motionless on the field for about 15 minutes before being carried off the pitch and rushed to hospital. He was later confirmed to have suffered cardiac arrest.

“Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family,” he wrote in Tuesday’s post. “Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark.”

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