• FT

    Ukraine

    0

    Greece

    1

  • FT

    Bosnia-Herz

    0

    Portugal

    1

  • FT

    Slovenia

    1

    Russia

    0

  • FT

    France

    1

    Rep of Ire

    1

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - UEFA

Stade de France, France

Referee: Martin Hansson | Attendance: 81000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

France

  • William Gallas 104'

1 - 1

FT

2nd leg: 2 - 1 (Agg)

After Extra Time

Republic of Ireland

  • Robbie Keane 33'

France 1-1 Ireland: Henry hands France place

William Gallas fired a relieved France into the World Cup finals as a

controversial winner shattered the Republic of Ireland's brave resistance.

• Ireland fuming over handball

• Henry admits handball

The Arsenal defender struck from close range 13 minutes into extra-time to

finally kill off Ireland's hopes of springing a major upset.

Skipper Thierry Henry controlled the ball with his hand before picking out his

team-mate in front of goal, but Swedish referee Martin Hansson and his assistant

saw no offence.

The goal cancelled out Robbie Keane's 32nd-minute opener as Ireland threatened

to dump the 1998 winners out of the competition with a spirited display which

saw them first wipe out France's first-leg advantage and then go close to

overhauling it through John O'Shea and Damien Duff.

But ultimately, it was Gallas who proved the hero on the night as the Republic,

who felt hard done by to be playing seeded France in the first place, succumbed

to the cruellest of exits on a night when they did manager Giovanni Trapattoni

and the whole country proud.

Victory over the course of the tie spared France manager Raymond Domenech

further abuse, although when the dust settles, his critics may be far from

appeased.

Keane had been at pains to insist at Ireland's pre-match press conference at

the Stade de France that the tie was far from over, and while his confidence was

commendable, few outside the Irish camp were completely won over by his

optimism.

But by the time the half-time whistle sounded, the men in green both on and off

the pitch were starting to believe.

Lassana Diarra's assertion in Dublin, which caused such consternation, that the

tie was over, proved hugely inaccurate as the French turned in an insipid

display in which they enjoyed far less possession than they did at Croke Park

and did virtually nothing with it.

Republic keeper Shay Given was a virtual spectator for much of the half, and as

the men in front of him grew in confidence, it was the visitors who started to

make an impression.

Patrice Evra had already had to climb high to prevent Liam Lawrence from

connecting with Duff's 18th-minute cross and the Stoke midfielder, once again

preferred to Aiden McGeady on the right, was in the thick of the action once

again six minutes later.

He met Kevin Doyle's cross at the far post to head the ball down for Keane and

only the vigilance of keeper Hugo Lloris, who rushed from his line to punch

clear before the striker could pounce, spared France.

There was panic among Les Bleus once again with 26 minutes gone when Lawrence

crossed from the right and Doyle glanced a header across the face of goal.

It was all very encouraging for the Irish, and their prayers were answered 13

minutes before the break.

Duff was gifted acres of space on the left to make his way to the goal-line

before looking up and picking out Keane with the perfect pass.

The striker gleefully side-footed the ball past Lloris and into the bottom

corner to set France back on their heels and blow the tie wide open.

Domenech's side attempted to respond but their reaction was lukewarm, and the

home crowd, having booed both their own manager and President Nicolas Sarkozy

when their respective images appeared on the stadium's big screens, repeated the

dose as the teams left the pitch at the break.

Their mood would have taken a significant turn for the worse had Ireland made

the most of a glorious opportunity within two minutes of the restart.

Trapattoni and his players had spoken repeatedly about France's perceived

weakness from set-pieces in the run-up to the tie, and they had been

disappointed not to exploit it at Croke Park on Saturday.

But they very nearly did just that when Lawrence curled a 47th-minute free-kick

to the far post where the unmarked O'Shea, perhaps astonished to be given so

much time and space, controlled on his chest only to volley high over.

Once again the French response was tepid, and although Given was called upon to

make his first real save with 54 minutes gone, Anelka's long-range effort never

troubled him.

But as the home side pushed men forward, they became increasingly vulnerable,

and Trapattoni's men were presented with a gilt-edged opening with 61 minutes

gone.

Lawrence's defence-splitting pass put Duff in on goal, but the winger was

denied by the impressive Lloris as he pulled off yet another vital stop.

Anelka glanced a header wide at one end and Keane rounded Lloris but could not

get in a shot at the other as the game became increasingly frantic.

Given had to claw away an Anelka cross deep into injury time, but Ireland more

than deserved their extra 30 minutes.

However, Ireland's luck deserted them 13 minutes into extra-time when Henry

handled Florent Malouda's delivery before crossing for Gallas to score.

Scoring Summary

  • France
  • Republic of Ireland
(33') Robbie Keane

Match Stats

  • France
  • Republic of Ireland
16(8) Shots (on goal) 5(2)
17 Fouls 17
7 Corner kicks 4
3 Offsides 0
53% Time of Possession 47%
3 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
5 Saves 7

Teams

  • France
  • Republic of Ireland
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Alou Diarra (79')
Florent Malouda (90 + 1')
Sidney Govou (106')