October 12, 2019 / 3:14 PM / 2 days ago

Schmeichel superb as Danes down Swiss, Ireland draw with Georgia

(Reuters) - Striker Yussuf Poulsen struck a dramatic winner six minutes from time as Denmark beat Switzerland 1-0 in Copenhagen in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday to join Ireland, who were held to a scoreless draw in Georgia earlier, at the top of Group D.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group D - Georgia v Republic of Ireland - Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia - October 12, 2019 Georgia's Guram Kashia in action with Republic of Ireland's James Collins REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

The Irish and the Danes both have 12 points after playing six games while the Swiss, who have a game in hand over the top two, are third on eight points.

Having barely managed a decent effort on goal, Denmark snatched all three points when Poulsen latched on to a sublime reverse pass from Christian Eriksen before going on a surging run and rifling home the ball to send the Parken stadium into ecstasy.

Despite Poulsen’s goal, the man-of-the-match award went to Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who pulled off a string of world-class saves.

The most important came deep into second-half stoppage time as he somehow managed to get down to his right and steer a ball destined for the bottom corner to safety, and shortly afterwards the final whistle went.

Earlier, Ireland defender John Egan saw his early header come back off a post in his competitive international debut as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Georgia in a drab game in Tbilisi.

Egan’s fourth-minute effort was the closest either side came in a dull encounter that saw both sides struggle to hold on to the ball and create decent chances.

The home side were limited to a handful of speculative shots from distance while the Irish, who edged Georgia 1-0 when the sides met in Dublin in March, showed little in attack until substitute Aaron Connolly entered the fray late on.

The sprightly 19-year-old replaced James Collins in the 78th minute to make his debut and manufactured two late chances for himself, only to see one saved and the other fly just wide.

The result leaves the Georgians fourth on five points after six games, with Gibraltar bottom with zero points from five.

Reporting by Philip O'Connor; editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon

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