Denmark 1 Ireland 0
Denmark carried too much power for a weary Republic of Ireland Under-21 team as Jim Crawford’s final friendly ahead of September’s European qualification campaign ended in defeat.
Emil Frederiksen’s goal on the half hour mark proved the difference on Saturday evening but the Danes could have added at least three more in a one-sided friendly in Marbella.
Confidence was high in the Irish camp following Saturday's 2-1 win against Australia's Under-23s but Ireland failed to test AC Milan goalkeeper Andreas Jungdal once over the 90 minutes. In fact, only a brilliant performance from 17-year-old Schalke goalkeeper Dan Rose on his Under-21 debut avoided a heavy defeat.
“To keep it at 1-0 was good,” admitted Crawford. “We didn’t play particularly well but you can’t fault the lads for their effort.
“It was a challenging game against a team that were top seeds in the recent qualifying draw. Denmark are a really good team, whose home-based players are in the middle of their season, and they had that sharpness.
“I thought our lads looked tired in their third game of the week.”
The Danes created golden chances on either side of Frederiksen’s winner. Rose was helpless to prevent Frederiksen finding the top corner with a 20-yard strike.
The Irish defence afforded the Sønderjysk forward too much time to turn towards goal from Mikkel Kaufmann’s pass and pick his spot.
Earlier, Mark McGuiness was required to produce a goal-line clearance from William Boving’s shot while Mathias Ross Jensen’s header struck the crossbar from the resultant corner.
As Ireland retreated in the second, the Scandinavians squandered chances to extend their lead.
Frederiksen fired off-target from a couple of efforts while substitute Frederick Winther headed straight at Rose eight minutes from full-time.
REP OF IRELAND: D Rose; A Lyons (F Ebosele 46), M McGuinness, O McEntee, W Ferry; C Coventry, R Johansson; T Wright (G Kilkenny 65), C Noss (B Lawal 46), A Gilbert (L Watson 80); JJ Kayode (C Grant 82).
DENMARK: A Jungdal; O Bundgaard, V Lund, W Boving, M Ross Jensen; M Kaufmann, V Jensen, J Steen Christensen, O Villadsen; M Warming, E Frederiksen.
Referee: Naranjo Marin (Spain)