Eriksen hattrick ends Republic of Ireland's World Cup dreams
Dublin: The Republic of Ireland failed to reach the World Cup as Christian Eriksen's hat-trick gave Denmark an emphatic victory in the play-off to reach Russia 2018.
After a goalless first leg, the hosts made the perfect start by scoring after just six minutes as defender Shane Duffy nodded in his second international goal when the visitors failed to clear a free-kick.
But the Danes netted twice in the space of three first-half minutes, courtesy of Cyrus Christie's own goal and Eriksen's stunning strike.
That left the Republic, who could have gone further ahead after taking the lead, but saw striker Daryl Murphy flick an effort into the side netting and winger James McClean drive wide following a slick team move, needing to score twice more to qualify.
But in the second half Tottenham midfielder Eriksen curled in from the edge of the box and then thumped in from inside the area to secure his treble and seal the tie.
Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner came on with six minutes to go and slotted a late penalty after he was brought down as Denmark, who failed to qualify for Brazil 2014, booked their trip to Russia next year.
Hat-trick scorer Eriksen said: "It's an incredible feeling. We've been fighting for so long to get to the World Cup. We are very much looking forward to it. It's not often I score any hat-trick so of course it is incredible.
Meanwhile, Australia crushed Honduras 3-1 in their second leg of the FIFA World Cup qualification playoffs to seal the ticket to Russia.