Denmark boss Age Hareide sarcastically thanked Republic of Ireland for giving Christian Eriksen the space to score a hat-trick in the 5-1 victory which sent his country to the World Cup.
The Spurs playmaker endured a frustrating night in Saturday’s goalless draw in Copenhagen.
But Eriksen made the difference in Dublin by taking his tally to nine goals in his last eight matches in qualification.
The travelling Danish supporters salute the hat-trick hero after the final whistle
Denmark boss Age Hareide is serenaded by his players as they sealed Russia progress
‘I was surprised, Ireland gave a lot of space in the centre of midfield for Eriksen. Thank you very much for giving him space,’ said Hareide.
‘He is always fantastic on the ball, works hard for the team, an inspiration for all the lads around him. That’s the difference between the sides. He’s in the top 10 players in the world.’
Eriksen said: ‘It was a crazy feeling. Ireland let us play a bit more, which is why we created so many chances.
‘It’s not often I score any hat-tricks. I know how nervous I was, all day and all night. Taking your country to the World Cup means a lot, for my whole career and my whole life.
Eriksen thumped home to put Denmark ahead on aggregate for the first time against Ireland
The Tottenham playmaker scored his second with a delightful left-footed finish after half-time
The Denmark star then drilled home an emphatic third to put his country out of sight
‘Mentally, I’ve grown up. I’m thinking more like a striker, trying to get the goal.’
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill was furious with the defending which allowed Denmark a way back into the game after Shane Duffy had headed the hosts into a sixth-minute lead.
‘We were well beaten, no question,’ he said.
‘If we’d got the second goal it could have been different but we conceded two sloppy goals in a couple of minutes and it was a long way back.
Eriksen took his total of goals in qualification to 11 with his hat-trick on Tuesday night
‘The goals were so, so bad. The second goal is just a comedy of mistakes.’
Meanwhile, Ireland forward James McClean says the defeat was self inflicted.
‘We shot ourselves. We had a great start. I’m just devastated,’ he said. ‘We let ourselves down.’