Seamus Coleman sticks it to Denmark with cutting post-match comment
They knew it was coming and were rendered powerless all the same.
Alan Judge (broken wrist) will have to sit out Ireland's home game against Gibraltar, on Monday, but he should content himself with the fact that he came up with the perfect cross for their equaliser against Denmark. Seamus Coleman certainly appreciated it.
With six minutes left, in Copenhagen, Ireland were 1-0 down but had a free-kick in a decent position. Judge had replaced Robbie Brady and was doing his best to beaver away and keep the Danes honest but, up in the attacking third, he had a chance to carve out a scoring opportunity.
The target would have been centre-back Shane Duffy. The Derry native had come close to scoring in the first half and he was the man to watch, and tie down, as Judge whipped in a pearler.
Such was the precision of the cross that Kasper Schmeichel did not dare pelt into the clatter of bodies that were all steaming towards his six yard box. It was the perfect cross and Duffy nutted the ball downwards past the Leicester goalkeeper. 1-1. Cue bedlam.
WHO wants some!!!? pic.twitter.com/N8RFm4qqp1
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 7, 2019
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman (seen above kindly escorting Yussuf Poulsen away from Jeff Hendrick) said, following the drawn European Championship qualifier, that it was a shame it took his side going 1-0 behind to start playing more football. Not for the first time, he called on his teammates to seek the ball more, especially when the heat is on.
"We need to improve on that," he told RTE, "because when we went 1-0 down and started playing we were very good, so going forward we need to definitely improve on that."
Coleman was back to his best for Ireland and he was a real threat to the Danes in the closing stages, pressing forward to try and get a winner when many would have settled for a draw. He was feisty and combative on the pitch and his post-match chat with Tony O'Donoghue contained a similar edge.
The Everton fullback was fully aware of the pre-game comments of Denmark star Mathias Jorgensen, who had declared:
"Look at their two wins; 1-0 over Gibraltar and Georgia. That shows Ireland are the same team we've faced over the past two years. Our main priority will be to watch Shane Duffy from set-pieces."
In short, Coleman's response was along the lines of, 'Well, how did that work out for ya?'
Asked about Duffy's towering header, Coleman said:
"I read somewhere that they were talking about that might be the only chance we would have of getting a goal tonight, well they did not work on it too much. He got a great header on it and a great cross from Judger."
As pointed as you can get. There is some real bite between the Irish and Danes right now.
'I read somewhere that they were talking about that might be the only chance we would have of getting a goal tonight, well they did not work on it too much...' - Seamus Coleman on Shane Duffy's goal #denirl #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/QJW4emymDP
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 7, 2019
Expect more of the same when the sides meet in Dublin later this year.
As for the result, which puts Ireland top of their group ahead of the Gibraltar game, Coleman said, 'We'll take that and go home. I can still hear our fans singing out there, so it's a good night for us."