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    Rep of Ire




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Croke Park, Ireland

Referee: Felix Brych | Attendance: 81500

* Local time based on your geographic location.

0 - 1



  • Nicolas Anelka 72'
  • 92'

    Ireland will need a big performance if they are to reach South Africa. Stick with Soccernet for the report and post-match reaction.

  • 92'

    There's a tussle on the pitch between Andrews and Gourcuff and players from both sides get involved in handbags.

  • 92'

    It's all over and France take a 1-0 lead into the second leg in Paris on Wednesday.

  • 92'

    O'Shea throws it in for Hunt, who leaves it for Whelan to strike, but his effort lacks power and Best is offside.

  • 92'

    Ireland win a throw-in in a good position.

  • 92'

    France bring on Malouda for Gignac for the final minute.

  • 91'

    A minimum of two minutes of added time.

  • 90'

    Best gives away a cheap foul on Evra and relieves the pressure.

  • 89'

    Hunt wins a throw-in as Ireland look for a late equaliser.

  • 88'

    Whelan looks for a throughball but it's cleared away.

  • 87'

    France win a corner but it's cleared.

  • 87'

    Abidal allows Ireland in and Best finds Keane before Whelan comes in, but Lloris stands up to his first real test of the night, getting down well to block the shot.

  • 86'

    McGeady looks to attack the France defence before unleashing a shot, but it's always peeling away.

  • 85'

    Gourcuff sends a shot from distance out for a throw-in.

  • 84'

    Anelka looks to make something with some interplay on the edge of the area, but it ends in a throughball to no one and Given gathers.

  • 83'

    Henry skips away from Whelan as France counter, but his cross is blocked.

  • 83'

    Hunt swings it in but Henry clears.

  • 83'

    Abidal puts the ball out for a corner and the Croke Park crowd are roaring the team on.

  • 82'

    Henry wins a free-kick from Dunne, but his deep effort into the box eludes everyone and it's a goal kick.

  • 81'

    Stephen Hunt comes on for Liam Lawrence.

  • 80'

    Gignac misses a glaring chance! Kilbane's woeful backpass lets Anelka through and Given can only send it into Gignac's path, but the striker's finish is awful.

  • 80'

    Gourcuff plays in Gignac but just overhits the pass and the forward can't control.

  • 79'

    Henry sends it over and it's possibly his best of the night, but Ireland just win the aerial battle.

  • 78'

    Gignac wins a corner from St Ledger.

  • 77'

    Keane looks to burst through in a good position but just loses out to the defender.

  • 76'

    Aiden McGeady comes on for Duff.

  • 75'

    Lassana Diarra goes down and play stops with Ireland in possession. It looked like gamesmanship from the midfielder.

  • 73'

    Andrews attempts a dipping shot on the bounce after Lawrence's cross is cleared, but it's straight at Lloris.

  • 72'

    GOAL FOR FRANCE! Nicolas Anelka's shot takes a deflection from Sean St Ledger and beats the helpless Shay Given!

  • 70'

    Leon Best comes on for Kevin Doyle.

  • 70'

    Ireland look to have a promising break but Lawrence is just too tired to take advantage and it breaks down.

  • 69'

    Evra wants a penalty as Given comes to claim the ball from his feet and fails to get a touch. Evra was looking for it, but that was a close call.

  • 68'

    Duff crosses from the left for Doyle, but he gets too much on the header from a difficult position. Goal kick.

  • 67'

    France hold onto the ball for a while and look to build an attack, but Henry attempts a wild, speculative effort as they fail to make good progress.

  • 65'

    Both sides are giving possession away too cheaply at the moment.

  • 63'

    Corner for France.

  • 63'

    Duff sends a ball into the box from out on the right, but Lloris claims well under pressure.

  • 62'

    Gignac forces Given to tip over with a cooping header, but the flag was up so it wouldn't have counted.

  • 61'

    Lawrence gets a good challenge in on Evra and puts the ball out for a throw.

  • 60'

    Anelka sees a shot blocked by Kilbane on the corner of the area.

  • 60'

    Henry finds Lassana Diarra on the edge of the area, but Ireland have no problems getting it clear.

  • 59'

    France win a corner.

  • 59'

    France look to be on top at the moment and are certainly playing the better football.

  • 57'

    Anelka fires am ambitious effort towards goal. It has power but lacks the direction and Given gathers easily.

  • 55'

    France attack and Henry sees a cross cleared, but it comes out to Lassana Diarra, who chests down before unleashing a powerful shot that flies just wide of Given's post.

  • 53'

    Gourcuff runs down the middle and pulls the trigger from the edge of the area, but he scuffs it and it rolls through for an easy stop.

  • 52'

    The corner sparks chaos in the France penalty area as Ireland have a series of shots on goal, but there's a flag and it comes to nothing.

  • 51'

    Duff produces a great piece of skill to get beyond Sagna, but the Arsenal full-back recovers to send his cross out for a corner.

  • 50'

    Lassana Diarra has damaged his ankle in a challenge with Andrews, but he should be able to run it off.

  • 49'

    Duff puts a ball in from out on the left but Lloris stretches to gather.

  • 48'

    Andrews wins the ball in the middle of the park and Keane looks to have broken clean through, but he's offside.

  • 47'

    Evra swings in a cross from the left, but there's no one there to meet it and it comes back to Given.

  • 46'

    France plays some superb flowing football in the early seconds of the second half and Sagna puts in a cross from out on the right for Henry, with O'Shea getting a vital intervention.

  • 46'

    France get the second half underway.

  • 45'

    It's half-time. Ireland will be happy with events so far, although Lawrence should have put them a goal ahead.

  • 44'

    Ireland build an attack down the right but Lawrence just takes the ball out of play before swinging a cross in. Goal kick.

  • 43'

    Alou Diarra puts the ball in the box and causes a brief panic but Ireland clear. The ball comes back in from a throw-in, but Henry heads well wide.

  • 42'

    Lawrence sends the corner over everyone in the centre.

  • 41'

    Ireland break away and win a corner.

  • 40'

    Gourcuff is loudly and ironically cheered by the home crowd as he attempts a backheel to no one. It says a lot about France's night so far.

  • 39'

    Henry fires just wide! Andrews fails to deal with a loose pass from Henry and hands possession back inside the area, but Henry can't find the target.

  • 38'

    Andrews wins the ball from Evra on the edge of the Ireland penalty area. Ireland look to counter but the attack breaks down.

  • 37'

    Kilbane plays a long, aimless ball down the left and it's out for a France goal kick.

  • 36'

    O'Shea gets the better of Henry as the France striker looks to win a corner. Goal kick to Ireland.

  • 36'

    Keane wins the ball in the midfield and Lawrence breaks down the right, but his cross is well cleared.

  • 35'

    Gignac nearly find a way through as he picks up a long ball, but Richard Dunne does well and wins a foul.

  • 34'

    Duff wins a free-kick as he's brought down by Sagna.

  • 33'

    The teams are stuggling to get out of the midfield.

  • 31'

    Andrews picks up the ball on the edge of the area from Doyle and tries to place it into the corner, but his effort is disappointing.

  • 30'

    Kilbane attempts a long throw into the France area, but Henry clears.

  • 29'

    Gignac turns and fires inside the Ireland area, but it's wide of goal.

  • 28'

    Liam Lawrence misses an open goal! Given plays a long ball which is headed on by Doyle for Keane to get an effort in. The ball comes to Lawrence, but he steers wide with the goal gaping!

  • 25'

    Gourcuff gets a shot in on goal from distance, but it's straight at Given and he gathers easily.

  • 24'

    Henry curls a dangerous looking ball over the top, but it's headed away.

  • 23'

    Ireland look to break away but Keane loses possession and France break away, with Andrews bringing down Anelka.

  • 22'

    Henry whips a deep, curling free-kick into the area looking for Gallas, but it's cleared away.

  • 19'

    Andrews goes down as he catches Alou Diarra's elbow in a high challenge.

  • 19'

    Sagna whips a cross in but Given gathers after a looping deflection from Kilbane.

  • 18'

    Henry's corner is easily cleared.

  • 17'

    Gignac wins a corner as Ireland fail to clear the danger.

  • 16'

    Duff takes a shot from the edge of the area, but it takes a deflection from Doyle and goes out for a goal kick.

  • 15'

    Lawrence makes some space out on the right and gets a cross in, but he can't clear Lloris.

  • 14'

    Whelan wins a 50/50 challenge with Evra. Ireland have looked by far the more committed in the early stages.

  • 13'

    Doyle puts the ball into the centre from out on the left, but in the end it's neither cross nor shot and Lloris gathers.

  • 13'

    Lassana Diarra loses possession with a slack pass and Doyle looks to take advantage, but he's closed down.

  • 11'

    Gignac lobs the ball into the net, but he'd already been given offside. Dunne for some reason let the ball bounce through...

  • 9'

    Anelka tries a shot but St Ledger blocks.

  • 8'

    Andrews plays a ball for Doyle and the Wolves striker does well to reach it and send it out for a throw in rather than a goal kick.

  • 7'

    Andrews puts in a couple of crunching tackles in the centre of the field to break down a France attack before it can start.

  • 6'

    Keane flicks the ball inside and the ball comes through to Andrews, who attempts a strike on goal but is blocked off.

  • 5'

    Henry whips in a corner for France but Kilbane gets a header in and Given gathers.

  • 4'

    The ball almost runs through for Robbie Keane, but Lloris gathers.

  • 2'

    France have the better of the early possession.

  • 1'

    Duff puts in a crunching tackle on Sagna to get the crowd fired up.

  • 1'

    The Ireland players get together in a huddle before kicking off to get the game underway.


    Croke Park roars along with the Irish national anthem and the teams shake hands ahead of the kick-off.


    The French are standing for their national anthem and the fans look to be in good spirits.


    Neutrals may be disappointed to see the absence of McGeady from the Ireland side, but France have an attacking line-up with Henry, Anelka, Gignac and Gourcuff.


    France: Lloris, Sagna, Gallas, Abidal, Evra, L Diarra, A Diarra, Anelka, Gourcuff, Henry, Gignac. Subs: Mandanda, Escude, Govou, Benzema, Sissoko, Malouda, Squillaci.


    Ireland: Given, O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Kilbane, Duff, Andrews, Whelan, Lawrence, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Murphy, McGeady, McShane, Kelly, Gibson, Hunt, Best.


    Welcome to the live commentary for Ireland's World Cup play-off first leg against France.


    Live updates will appear here from 7.45pm GMT.

Goal Shot Video
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Republic of Ireland

  • 11(5)

  • -

  • 8

  • 48%


  • France

  • 13(7)

  • -

  • 5

Republic of Ireland

POS No Name


1 Shay Given


2 Sean St. Ledger


4 John O'Shea


5 Richard Dunne


3 Kevin Kilbane


6 Glenn Whelan


7 Liam Lawrence
12 Aiden McGeady


8 Keith Andrews


11 Damien Duff
17 Stephen Hunt


9 Kevin Doyle
18 Leon Best


10 Robbie Keane
POS No Name
G 16 Joe Murphy
D 13 Paul McShane
D 14 Stephen Kelly
M 12 Aiden McGeady
M 15 Darron Gibson
M 17 Stephen Hunt
F 18 Leon Best

Match Stats

  • Republic of Ireland
  • France
11(5) Shots (on goal) 13(7)
8 Fouls 5
3 Corner kicks 6
6 Offsides 3
48% Time of Possession 52%
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 5