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Michael Obafemi makes Republic of Ireland debut

Michael Obafemi has made his Republic of Ireland debut in the 0-0 draw with Denmark.

The teenage striker came off the bench in the 79th minute to earn his first international cap in the second half of the Boys in Green’s gritty draw in Aarhus.

Obafemi’s introduction saw him become the first Irish player born after 2000 to represent the senior side, and means he now cannot represent another country at international level.

Martin O’Neill’s men were under intense pressure from the hosts throughout, and were camped deep in their own half for most of the match, but managed to keep the Danes at bay.

O’Neill opted for a back five again, making five changes in total to the team which drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland on Thursday.

Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, and Kevin Long played as centre backs, with Seamus Coleman and Enda Stevens flanking the trio.

Robbie Brady joined Jeff Hendrick, Cyrus Christie, and Callum O’Dowda in midfield, with Aiden O’Brien handed the thankless task of leading the line at Ceres Park.

Darren Randolph was on his toes to claw away Denmark right back Peter Ankersen’s low cross in the first half, and Christian Eriksen fizzed a free kick narrowly over the bar.

The Spurs playmaker was withdrawn at half time, but the home side continued to push for a breakthrough after the break, with Yussuf Poulsen somehow blazing over a golden opportunity from close range early in the second period.

Richard Keogh was then caught dawdling in possession, but Nicolai Jorgensen’s shot struck the inside of the post after the Danish striker had dispossessed Keogh on the edge of the Irish box.

Brady had the visitors’ only real chance of the game, but his curling free kick on the half hour mark flew wide of the near post. There was a familiar (and frustrating) lack of creativity, and the Boys in Green failed to register a shot on target.

Callum Robinson and Ronan Curtis were introduced with 25 minutes left on the clock, but Ireland failed to muster any notable chances.

Obafemi had little time to make an impact after his introduction, with O’Neill’s side defending deep against the probing Danes.

Ireland finish their UEFA Nations League campaign at the bottom of League B despite tonight’s stalemate, and have now failed to score in their last four matches.

Denmark have topped the group, and will now progress to the finals.

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Kevin Long; Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady (Callum Robinson 65), Enda Stevens; Callum O’Dowda (Michael Obafemi 80), Aiden O’Brien (Ronan Curtis 65).

 

This article originally appeared on The Season Ticket.

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