LIVE REPORT: France 1 Republic of Ireland 1

18 November 2009 20:45

PARIS (AFP) - 2248 GMT: The victory doesn't seem to excite Wenger, who tells French TV: "We qualified through a refereeing error and the strength of someone's hand and also Irish missed chances."

2247 GMT: Former French defender Bixente Lizarazu adds: "It was catastrophic - clearly a hand ball all the players saw it - only the referee didn't."

2243 GMT An emotional Raymond Domenech tells French TV: "It was hard, laborious, miraculous, but I am happy for all those who like French football."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy adds: "It was hard going, but the main thing is that France have qualified. I feel for the Irish who played great. The two teams were so close."

2242 GMT The debate will rage and rage in the pubs across Ireland tonight about Gallas' controversial winning goal - not one but TWO clear handballs from Henry before he crossed for the Arsenal defender to score.

2235 GMT France win 2-1 on aggregate after sneaking a 1-1 draw in Paris. Wenger tells French TV: "It's sure that there is a bit of a bad feeling left over qualifying in this way. "


2233 GMT 120 mins +1: Anelka on the break pulls it back to Govou who skies the ball high over the crossbar.

2231 GMT 120 mins: One added minute of injury-time - Given goes upfield for a corner but assured Lloris gathers the ball.

2230 GMT 119 mins: Ireland have resorted to long balls now in a desperate attempt to grab the goal they need to win the tie.

2222 GMT It's 1-1 on the night now, France are 2-1 ahead on aggregate - but just one goal would be enough for Ireland to win on away goals.

2119 GMT 107 mins: Trapattoni makes a final throw of the dice and sends on the mercurial Celtic winger McGeady for Stoke targetman Lawrence.

2117: 106 mins: YELLOW CARD. Govou booked.


2214 GMT 104 mins: YELLOW CARD. Duff is booked for complaining about the handball. Replays show Henry actually handballed it twice from Malouda's floated free-kick before crossing the ball to Gallas.

2212 GMT 103 mins: GOAL FRANCE!

What an error by the referee. Gallas has put the French ahead from Henry's control at the back post and cross - but Given is screaming for a handball and replays show that Henry clearly handled, and Gallas used his shoulder to bundle the ball over the line. Heartbreak for Ireland!

2211 GMT 102 mins: Govou puts it in the net for France but the flag was up - and replays show the assistant referee got the call right.

2209 GMT Justin Davis at the Stade de France writes: "The jeers and whistles are defeaning as France are denied what looked like a penalty after Anelka came down in the box. Ireland let off the hook!"

2205 GMT 98 mins: Hugely controversial moment. Anelka is clean through on Given on the right-hand side of the box, he skips around the Ireland goalkeeper and goes to ground. Replays show Given brushed Anelka's leg but there was minimal contact. And the referee gives a goalkick.

2202 GMT 94 mins: Anelka shoots from 30 yards out but his shot flies low past Given's right-hand post.

2159 GMT French TV report that French skipper Thierry Henry is injured and limping but must play on as Domenech has used all his subs. That is a body blow for the French side.

2157 GMT It's 1-1 on aggregate and nail-biting times for the supporters in the Stade de France. Ireland are trying to build on their one-goal lead on the night and seal their place at the World Cup.

2155 GMT 90 mins +3: Referee blows the whistle for the end of the second half. The match is heading for extra time.

2154 GMT 90 mins +2: Zinedine Zidane looking on from the stands looks unimpressed as Anelka scuffs his cross.

2150 GMT 90 mins: A minimum of three minutes of injury-time will be played.

2148 GMT 87 mins: France coach Raymond Domenech makes his final substitution and sends Chelsea striker Florent Malouda on for Yoann Gourcuff - the crowd sound unimpressed.

2145 GMT 85 mins: The Parisian crowd try to rouse their team for one final push with a passionate rendition of the Marsellaise.

2142 GMT 79 mins: YELLOW CARD! France centre-back Squillaci booked for speaking out of turn to the referee - is the pressure getting to him?

2140 GMT Are we heading for extra-time or can one of these sides strike the telling blow in the final 15 minutes?

2137 GMT Trapattoni has received criticism in the Irish press for his tactics in recent games but he has got it spot on in Paris tonight.

2136 GMT Latest from Justin Davis: "Keane's miss of the match has left the French feeling very restive. And the Irish rendition of their anthem, The Fields of Athenrye, is being met with whistles and jeers. Nothing sporting about this game now!"

2135 GMT 73 mins: Lawrence puts Keane clean through in the French box but rather than shoot, the Tottenham forward tries to take the ball around Lloris and runs into touch. What a chance to seal it for the Emerald Isle.

2133 GMT 72 mins: It's one-way traffic now as Henry dinks a little cross in from the right but Anelka heads wide.

2132 GMT 70 mins: Henry nods down to Gourcuff on the edge of the box who slams the ball towards goal but McShane throws his body in the way. The pressure is beginning to grow.

2131 GMT 69 mins: Ball over the top from Gourcuff to Henry is overhit - the jeers flood down from the stands.

2127 GMT France fans still need convincing, and the atmosphere is one of frustration.

2125 GMT 63 mins: Ireland's Gibson comes on for midfielder Whelan, who gets a loud cheers from the Irish contingent in the Stade de France

2124 GMT 61 mins: Chances at both ends - Lloris makes a crucial save from the onrushing Duff as Sagna gets in a last-gasp challenge. France break and Given comes out to block Henry's shot from a tight angle on the right.

2120 GMT 59 mins: YELLOW CARD Kilbane is booked for tripping Gourcuff on the right-hand side of the area as France push for an equaliser.

2118 GMT 56 mins: Gignac has a shot on the turn inside the box from Anelka's pass but St Ledger blocks well. It's Gignac's last action of the game as he is replaced by Govou.

2114 GMT: 54 mins: Evra cuts in from the left and Anelka tries his luck from 35 yards but Given saves comfortably in the Ireland goal.

2113 GMT 49 mins: Keane crosses low from the left and Evra makes a last-ditch challenge to deny the onrushing Lawrence with the goal at his mercy. France break quickly and Gignac shoots wide.

2108 GMT 47 mins: What a chance for Ireland to double their lead as the ball is swung in from the left by Lawrence and an unmarked O'Shea blazes over at the back post. Republic manager Trapattoni shows his disgust at the miss on the sidelines.

2107 GMT French coach Raymond Domenech tells French TV at half-time: "We forgot how to play, but they really took it to us physically we were just afraid to play our game. But there is another half and it's all or nothing now."

2106 GMT: 46 mins: France kick-off the second-half. The next goal's going to be absolutely crucial now.

2102 GMT: Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish tells SKY: "France look like the away side."

2056 GMT Former Liverpool midfielder Ronnie Whelan -- who made 53 appearances for the Republic of Ireland -- tells SKY TV: "Its been a great performance by Ireland, they have really gone at the French and they could be going to South Africa if France don't buck up their ideas."

2053 GMT AFP reporter Justin Davis says: "The jeers and whistles at half-time says it all. France need to quickly turn their game around or they risk losing much-needed fan support"

2050 GMT 45+2 mins: The referee blows the half-time whistle in Paris. Ireland are leading but it's all to play for as the scores are tied on aggregate.

2049 GMT 45+2 mins: Whelan's free-kick from 30 yards blocked by head of Evra:

2047 GMT: 45 mins: Fourth official says there will be a minimum of two minutes of added time.

2045 GMT: Wenger tells French TV: "What complicates things now is we just can't afford to push up too far and lose a second goal."

2042 GMT 39 mins: Sagna skips past Duff and passes inside to Anelka on the right, but the Chelsea man's shot is deflected behind

2040 GMT: 38 mins: Gourcuff's effort from 25 yards is charged down by St Ledger as Les Bleus try to level the scores on the night

2038 GMT That goal had been coming! It's game on now as the Irish lead 1-0 at the Stade de France, meaning it's 1-1 on aggregate in the race for a spot in South Africa.

AFP reporter Justin Davis says: "The tiny green section of the stadium goes absolutely crazy. The French fans are already thinking of the nightmare scenario and fall ominously silent.

2033 GMT GOAL IRELAND! 33 mins Duff pulls the ball back for Keane who finds enough room in the middle of the French area penalty to slot the ball past Lloris.

2031 GMT 29 mins: Whistles rain down from the French crowd as the home fans get frustrated by Ireland's dominance in the last ten minutes.

2029 GMT 26 mins: Best chance of the match for Doyle but he couldn't get his head to an inviting cross from Lawrence as he was pressured by Gallas.

2028 GMT 24 mins: Brave save from Lloris at the feet of Keane on the edge of the six-yard box, the French keeper flying out to block from Lawrence's header

2025 GMT AFP reporter Justin Davis says Irish fans are cautiously optimistic. "I hope we'll win 2-1, but we're not overly optimistic. But if the Scots can do it (beat France in Paris) we can as well," the confident Irish fan told AFP outside the Stade de France.

2021 GMT 18 mins: The French defence look vulnerable to the high ball and Evra flicks the ball clear under heavy pressure from Lawrence from just outside the six-yard box

2020 GMT After 17 minutes Wenger says on French TV - "So far neither team has managed to settle down -it's really messy."

2018 GMT 15 mins: After a promising start by the Irish, France are starting to dominate possession and Gignac has a shot deflected wide after Anelka's free-kick is charge down

2016 GMT 13 mins: Keith Andrews heads clear from a France corner. Midfielder Lassana Diarra smashes the ball at goal but it sails high over the crossbar.

2013 GMT 10 mins: Gourcuff finds Henry in the Irish penalty area as France launch their first attack -- the Barcelona striker has a shot but it's blocked by cente-back St Ledger

2011 GMT French supporter Pascal Moleau echoes the confident mood of the home supporters. Speaking to AFP outside the stadium, he said: "The game is a formality for us, we did the hard part on Saturday in Dublin"

2007 GMT 6 mins: France centre-back Escude receives treatment for a bloody nose after an accidental clash of heads with team-mate Evra

2004 GMT 4 mins: First serious attack by the Irish as Duff looks for Keane with a cross from the left but Evra clears at the back post.

2003 GMT: 2 mins: Ireland's Liam Lawrence gets the first cross of the game in from the right-hand side but it's blocked.


1959 GMT: France are in their traditional blue kit while the visiting Irish are in white shirts with green shorts.

1959 GMT: The Irish players and fans belt out Soldiers Song - the French reply with a stirring rendition of Marseillaise and we're ready to go - 90 minutes (or more) to book a ticket for South Africa

1956 GMT: Expectant French fans wave their tricolor flags in the stadium as the players file out onto the pitch for this crucial game.

1954 GMT: French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who has a Welsh wife, has just taken up his seat - big smiles all around

1952 GMT: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who is an analyst for French broadcaster TF1 says: "All the pressure is on the Irish - they just have to score to survive and that can open up gaps for the French .

1934 GMT: France go into this World Cup play-off second leg in Paris with a 1-0 advantage from Saturday's first leg at Croke Park in Dublin when Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka's deflected second-half strike divided the sides.

The Republic of Ireland will have to win at the Stade de France tonight to book their place at the World Cup in South Africa next year and will need no extra motivation after the angry exchanges between rival players at the end of the first game.

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni and Tottenham forward Robbie Keane have said they are confident they can overturn the 1-0 deficit -- even though Ireland have not won in Paris since 1937.

Our man in Paris says the weather is mild and playing conditions look perfect. Thousands of green-clad Irish fans heading for the Stade in hope more than expectation. Between 12,000 and 15000 of them are estimated to have tickets -- not quite the invasion the French feared but enough to make themselves heard.

The French are quietly confident at least on the surface but a quick strike for Ireland could see them reaching for the panic button.


France: Lloris - Sagna, Gallas, Escude, Evra - A.Diarra, L.Diarra - Anelka, Gourcuff, Henry (cap.) - Gignac

Republic of Ireland: Given - O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Kilbane - Lawrence, Andrews, Whelan, Duff - Doyle, Keane (cap.)

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WC Qualification Europe
18 November 2009
0 - 1
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1 - 1
On aggregate
2 - 1
Stade de France (Paris)


0 - 1
W. Gallas 103'  
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