Denmark's Christian Eriksen crushes World Cup dreams of West Midlands' Irishmen
Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen destroyed the World Cup dreams of several West Midlands-based players as his hat-trick stole the show for Denmark against the Republic of Ireland.
The midfielder struck three times in a 5-1 win for the Danes, who go on to Russia next year.
Meanwhile, Albion’s James McClean – who played 90 minutes last night – will be among those on the beach, along with Villa trio Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane and Scott Hogan, who were all unused substitutes.
Wolves wing-back Matt Doherty is yet to earn his first cap for the Irish, but his continued impressive form had got him closer to a debut.
Eriksen, who had been effectively shackled in Copenhagen on Saturday evening, took the second leg of the play-off tie by the scruff of the neck with two superb finishes either side of half-time before lashing home a third late on.
In the process, he took his tally for the campaign to 11 goals, just two fewer than the Republic managed in their 12 games in the competition, before substitute Nicklas Bendtner converted a last-minute penalty.
Despite taking an early lead through Shane Duffy's header, Ireland were simply unable to find the right balance between attack and defence after Cyrus Christie's own goal had restored parity.