November 20, 2017, 1:31

Kasper Schmeichel slams ‘horrendous’ playing surface after Republic of Ireland hold Denmark

Kasper Schmeichel slams ‘horrendous’ playing surface after Republic of Ireland hold Denmark

Kasper Schmeichel says he is disappointed Denmark did not win their World Cup play-off first leg with Republic of Ireland following a 0-0 draw.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has slammed the “horrendous” playing surface as they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Republic of Ireland in Copenhagen.

The World Cup play-off remains finely poised after Denmark failed to find a way past Martin O’Neill’s dogged Ireland side at the Parken Stadium.

The draw means it is all to play for in Tuesday’s return leg – which is live on Sky Sports Football. Victory for either side will book them a spot at next year’s World Cup, while Denmark can still benefit from the away goals rule.

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However, Leicester ‘keeper Schmeichel admits the Danes are disappointed to be heading to Dublin all square, with the pitch not helping their cause.

“For us, we needed to be more clinical. We didn’t quite get our game going today. It was a horrendous pitch, it was very disappointing from our point of view,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports after the match.

Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland.

“I hear that the Irish pitch is a little bit better so hopefully we can get our play to go a little bit smoother.”

When asked what was wrong with the pitch, Schmeichel added: “There was no grass on it. No grass, it was soft.

“It took me back to my old days in Bury and League Two with those kind of pitches. It was the same for both teams, but it was disappointing for such a big game.

“We were trying to play some fast football but we had to take an extra touch each time to secure the ball. It made a little bit of difference, but it’s no excuse. It was the same for them.”

Schmeichel’s opposing number, Darren Randolph, put in a man-of-the-match performance as he kept Denmark at bay with a string of saves.

The Middlesbrough goalkeeper drew praise from Schmeichel, who hopes there will be no repeat of those heroics on Tuesday night.

Martin O’Neill says Republic of Ireland’s 0- 0 draw with Denmark was tough but he was proud of the way his players performed.

“Randolph made some great saves so we’re a little disappointed not to have won, but it’s not the end of the world,” Schmeichel added.

“They were very disciplined and had the clear aim of stopping us scoring. When you see the opposition keeper being the man of the match, it tells you the story.

“It was a great performance from him. He’s made a great double save and that could have opened it up. All credit to him. I hope he doesn’t do that again!”

Sourse: skysports.com

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