Ireland edged out by France

19 November 2009 08:07
The Republic of Ireland's hopes of reaching the World Cup finals ended in controversy and misery as they were edged out 2-1 on aggregate by France. Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, the Irish levelled the tie when Robbie Keane found the net just before half-time in the Stade de France and there were no further goals during normal time. Les Bleus' progress was sealed right on half-time of extra-time when William Gallas turned the ball home from close range, although Thierry Henry had clearly handled in setting up his former Arsenal team-mate. Russia also missed out on a place in South Africa, losing 1-0 in Slovenia to crash out on away goals after the tie finished level at 2-2. Zlatko Dedic scored the only goal of the game in Maribor, while Russia ended with nine men as both Aleksandr Kerzhakov and Yuri Zhirkov were red-carded. Portugal eased through 2-0 on aggregate over Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the visitors winning the second leg 1-0 in Zenica thanks to a Raul Meireles strike. Greece won 1-0 in Ukraine to progress by the same scoreline, with Dimitrios Salpingidis the matchwinner. Uruguay secured their place at next summer's showpiece as they drew 1-1 with Honduras in Montevideo to edge a 2-1 aggregate success in the South America/CONCACAF play-off. Algeria took the final African spot by winning a one-off play-off clash with Egypt in Sudan. The teams met after finishing with identical records in qualifying, with Antar Yahia's goal proving decisive in Khartoum.

Source: ESA