Duffy gives Judge top marks for the ‘perfect ball’ for late equaliser

‘It was the perfect ball in the end, right on the sweet spot’

Ireland’s Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick celebrate at the final whistle in Copenhagen. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland’s Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick celebrate at the final whistle in Copenhagen. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Shane Duffy described Alan Judge’s free for his late headed goal as the “perfect ball” and though Ireland’s overall performance left room for improvement, the scorer of Ireland’s equaliser felt he and his team-mates had done enough to merit their point at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen.

“That’s the ball, that’s the perfect ball,” he said. “I was delighted. I had been a bit disappointed with the chance I missed in the first half, so I kept saying to myself, ‘If I get one more, hopefully I can put it away’ and it was the perfect ball in the end, right on the sweet spot.”

The big defender acknowledged that it had been a difficult night for the visitors with Denmark’s movement in front of the Irish area causing Mick McCarthy’s back four problems but they worked tirelessly, he felt, to stay in things and deserved what they got in the end.

“It was a tough night. They are still a good team and sometimes you have to give them that little bit of respect and keep your shape

“They didn’t really play with wide players so it was difficult for the full backs. Sometimes I was up against three or four of them at some stage, with the wide guys coming in and the full backs bombing on. So it was about getting the balance right.

“They had a lot of chances in the second half. Big Daz [Darren Randolph] saved us again. It was a tough night but we stuck in there. I thought we were going to win it at the end. We don’t give up. We rarely ever give up. And we actually probably played our better football when we went one-nil down. That’s football.

“It feels like a good point at the minute.”

Some of the good was sucked out of the situation by the late injury to Judge who sustained a broken wrist in the dying seconds after a challenge by Jens Stryger Larsen that was described as “stupid” by Randolph.

“I’m gutted for Alan,” said Duffy, “because I feel like he changed the game when he came on. He’s got good quality and great delivery for me. It’s disappointing and hopefully it’s not as long as we think.”

Like Duffy, Conor Hourihane was pleased with the performance and delighted with the point that Ireland now take into what should be a somewhat more straightforward night’s work at the Aviva stadium on Monday against a Gibraltar team that lost 3-0 away to Georgia earlier on Friday.

“We have to be professional,” said the Corkman. “We can’t take anything for granted but hopefully we will dominate the ball, get a bit more ball than we did tonight and hopefully get the right result.

“I thought we had a go here, though. We knew that they would have a lot of the ball, they have technically very good players but I felt we had a go at the right times, it wasn’t as if it was backs against the wall for 90 minutes or anything like that. And I think we had the chance to score on a couple of occasions before the goal as well so, we’re delighted to get the point and it’s on to Monday now.”

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