(Reuters) - Denmark demolished leaders Poland 4-0 to close the gap at the top of World Cup qualifying group E to three points thanks to a midfield masterclass from Christian Eriksen, who netted a goal and three assists in Copenhagen.
Despite their dismal showing in the Danish capital, the Poles remain top of the group on 16 points after seven matches, with Montenegro, who hammered Kazakhstan 3-0, second on 13, ahead of the Danes on goal difference.
The outstanding Eriksen found Thomas Delaney with a corner after 15 minutes, and the midfielder picked the perfect time to net his first international goal for Denmark, forcing the ball in with a combination of his head and his right shoulder.
Andreas Cornelius doubled the advantage in the 42nd minute, volleying Eriksen’s pinpoint cross into the ground and sending it bouncing over goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Poland pressed forward early in the second half but the fleet-footed Eriksen never stopped tormenting them, and on the hour mark he was at it again, rifling the ball towards goal.
Fabianski could only parry the ball into the path of Nicolai Joergensen, who slotted it in to make it 3-0.
As the Poles continued to press forward, Eriksen finally got the goal he so richly deserved in the 80th minute, curling a beautiful shot past Fabianski to round off the scoring.
Denmark travel to second-from-bottom Armenia for their next game on Monday, while Poland take on bottom side Kazakhstan at home.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Christian Radnedge