Denmark match a 'Cup final' for Ireland

GENEVA • Ireland coach Mick McCarthy is looking forward to a "Cup final" with Denmark, after his side lost 2-0 in Switzerland.

Haris Seferovic's early effort and Shane Duffy's late own goal kept the Swiss' hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 alive on Tuesday.

Although Vladimir Petkovic's side are already guaranteed a play-off spot via the Nations League, the win means they are just a point behind Group D leaders Ireland and Denmark, both on 12 points, with two matches left in their campaign. They also have the better of the head-to-head record with the Irish as the two teams drew 1-1 in September.

Ireland's hopes will come down to their final game of the campaign against Denmark, a match they need to win to qualify.

"Switzerland proved they were a very good side," McCarthy said on Sky Sports. "No shock to me.

"They have good players, who have played together for a long time. They were dominant in the first half but we had a second half we can be proud of."

When asked about his plans for the next match, he added: "It's a Cup final. Beat Denmark to reach Euro 2020.

"I would have taken that at the start and I'll take it now."

Duffy and right-back Seamus Coleman will both miss the fixture in Dublin after picking up yellow and red cards respectively.

McCarthy, in his second spell as Ireland coach, made three changes from Saturday's 0-0 draw in Georgia, handing 19-year-old striker Aaron Connolly his first start.

Switzerland host Georgia on Nov 15 and travel to Gibraltar three days later, the same day Ireland host Denmark.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2019, with the headline 'Denmark match a 'Cup final' for Ireland'. Print Edition | Subscribe