France v Republic of Ireland
Gio Trapattoni's Ireland team had it all to do in the World Cup Play-off second leg in Paris on Wednesday night having lost 0-1 in Dublin at the weekend. Nicolas Anelka's second half strike was enough to seperate the teams and should have been enough for the 1998 World Cup winners to progress to another finals. It wasn't quite as straigtforward as this but William Gallas's contreversial equaliser in extra time was enough to put France through 2-1 on aggregate.
The Irish knew they had to find goals from somewhere and they had been hard to come by throughout this World Cup qualifying campaign. Ireland scored only twelve goals in ten qualifying matches and when you consider that they didn't lose a single match and had the likes of Montenegro, Cyprus and Georgia in their group then this was a poor return.
With the Irish needing to score at least one goal in the second leg you'd expect the French to pick them off. However, the French aren't the team they once were and the fact that they didn't qualify automatically from a group that contained Serbia, Austria, Lithuania, Romania and the Faroe Islands tells its own story. Whether it was nerves or a good performance by the Irish, the French were very poor, lacked any kind of creativity and mistakes were rife. Ireland took a first half lead and had it not been for a good save by French keeper when one on one with Damian Duff in the second half the result may have been very different.
France v Republic of Ireland 2nd Leg Result
|Paris - Stade de France||Score|
|FRANCE||1-1 a.e.t||REPUBLIC OF IRELAND|
|Willan Gallas (103')||0-1 (0-1)||Robbie Keane (33')|
|Ref: Martin Hansson|
Republic of Ireland v France 1st Leg Result
|Dublin - Croke Park||Score|
|REPUBLIC OF IRELAND||0-1||FRANCE|
|0-1 (0-0)||Nicolas Anelka (72')|
|Ref: Felix Brych|
Check the results of the other 2010 World Cup play-off matches: