France produced a stunning comeback as they beat Ukraine 3-0 (3-2 on aggregate) to overturn a first-leg defeat and seal their place at World Cup 2014.
Didier Deschamps’ men trailed 2-0 after the first leg in Kiev, but first-half goals from Mamadou Sakho (2) and Karim Benzema levelled the tie on Tuesday before an own goal from Oleh Husyev - which came after Yevhen Khacheridi’s dismissal - booked their spot in Brazil.
The hosts controlled the early stages and took the lead when Sahko followed in Franck Ribery’s strike just after the 20-minute mark.
Benzema then doubled their advantage 12 minutes later with a close-range effort that sent the home fans into raptures.
Ukraine's Khacheridi received a red card for a second bookable offence in the 47th minute, before Sakho scored a second via a deflection off Husyev to complete the turnaround 18 minutes from time.
Laurent Koscielny was suspended after being sent off in the first leg and so Raphael Varane took his place at the heart of the French defence, while Ukraine’s Oleksandr Kucher also received his marching orders in Kiev and was replaced by Yaroslav Rakitskiy.
The home side started the game at a high tempo, and Andriy Pyatov had to be alert to parry Mathieu Valbuena's effort after three minutes.
But their early pressure paid off in 22 minutes in. Valbuena's whipped free-kick fell to Franck Ribery on the edge of the area and, although his low drive was saved well by Pyatov, Sakho slotted home the rebound.
France had the ball in the net again on the half-hour mark when Benzema tapped home only for the Real Madrid striker to be denied by the offside flag, with replays suggesting the assistant’s decision was incorrect.
Deschamps' men will feel justice was done shortly after, however, when the ball deflected into Benzema’s path and he applied the close-range finish to level the tie at 2-2, despite the fact he appeared to be in an offside position.
But after dominating the opening period, France were nearly caught out on the stroke of half-time as Andriy Yarmolenko had an effort blocked on the line by Mathieu Debuchy.
France’s chances improved soon after the restart when Khacheridi was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Ribery.
And they could have gone ahead on aggregate in the 58th minute when Benzema found space on the left-hand side of the box before blazing his effort over the crossbar.
But France did get the breakthrough they were looking for in the 72nd minute. Ribery’s miscued effort found its way to Sakho and the Liverpool defender’s bundled effort went in via Husyev.
Substitute Olivier Giroud almost added a fourth with a back-post header that was saved by Pyatov, but the miss made no difference as France reached their fifth consecutive World Cup finals.
|5||M. Sakho||22' 45' 72'|
|Coach: D. Deschamps|
for M. Debuchy 78'
for K. Benzema 82'
|No contact over England vacancy, says Rangnick|
|Hughes backs Shawcross for Ibrahimovic revenge|
|Misfiring Zaza could be next Bergkamp - Bilic|
|Mourinho needs time to understand United players|
|Mathieu quits France after admitting ´I don´t have the motivation´|
|Wenger ´not obsessed´ with winning send-off|
|Liverpool top, DVDs just invented and no Harry Potter - the world when Wenger joined Arsenal|
|The Invincibles and Champions League heartbreak - the highs and lows of Wenger´s 20 years at Arsenal|
|Guardiola eyes longer City stay|
|Wenger fits England criteria ´perfectly´ - FA chief|
|Houston Dynamo 0 New York City 2: Villa brace seals routine win|
|Premier League defends tax arrangements|
|Redknapp reportedly aware of players betting on games|
|Koeman champions ´outstanding´ display despite draw|
|Everton profited from ´harsh´ refereeing, claims Delaney|
|We will get much better, Guardiola warns rivals|
|Ibrahimovic turned down €100m China deal - Raiola|
|Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1: Benteke cancels out Lukaku opener|
|Rashford looking to emulate Ronaldo at Manchester United|
|Managers given bad name by Allardyce scandal - Moyes|
|Pagliara claims he lied to Telegraph over bungs|
|Dyche excited by Arsenal challenge|
|Mazzarri wary of unleashing Success until he is fully fit|
|Moyes stands by criticism of players|
|Guardiola marvels at amazing Ryder Cup experience|
|Mathieu and Deschamps ´exchange´ gives Mangala recall|
|Retirement threat just ´erratic´ Tevez being dramatic - Joorabchian|
|Dani Alves wants Champions League glory with Juventus|
|Guardiola: Football fans can enjoy Tottenham|
|Ranieri calls for consistency from Leicester|
|Low missing out on ´dream´ player in Castro - Tuchel|
|Mata: I never had problems with Mourinho|
|Conte wants failures to motivate Chelsea|
|Pochettino rules out ´impossible´ England switch|
|Emery pleased with Ben Arfa attitude|
|Gundogan returns for Germany after lengthy absence|
|Terry out again as Chelsea prepare for Hull|
|Hasselbaink refutes corruption allegations|
|Robben to start against Cologne, suggests Ancelotti|
|Prolific Callejon called into Spain squad|
|Hull City offer ´keeps changing´ - Phelan|
|Krueger: Black allegations do not directly affect Southampton|
|Wenger optimistic over Coquelin recovery|
|Hughes focused after Mourinho backing|
|Wenger open to England job|
|Klopp eyes retirement before 60|
|Wenger the pioneer battles on within his own legacy|
|Lukaku: I am not on Suarez´s level yet|
|Ibrahimovic is tremendous even if he does not score - Mourinho|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia, Honduras Progreso claim key wins|
|Astra expected hungover Roma - Spalletti|
|United fixture list a ´poisoned gift´ - Mourinho|
|Ronaldo back for ´stronger´ Portugal|
|Dembele can be next Drogba - Rodgers|
|Mourinho wanted Pogba at Chelsea, says Raiola|
|Puel pleased with ´good point´ in Israel|
|Mourinho not ´over the moon´ with United wins|
|Southampton investigating Eric Black allegations|
|Rodgers: Celtic would challenge at the top in England|
|Ibrahimovic expects more from United|
|Manchester United 1 Zorya 0: Ibrahimovic header earns Mourinho´s men narrow win|
|De Boer blasts Inter for lack of focus|
|Zarate reveals message to ill wife after goalscoring return|
|Raffael suffers fresh injury setback|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 0 Southampton 0: Saints´ winning run comes to an end|
|Sparta Prague 3 Inter 1: De Boer´s side humbled in Europa League again|
|Police to review corruption allegations after Telegraph sting|
|Brady hails Wenger as ´possibly the best ever´ Gunners boss|
|Yacob signs new West Brom deal|
|Guidolin prioritising Swansea improvement over his future|
|Sakho outburst has been dealt with – Klopp|
|Bilic sorry for Allardyce in ´very sad´ week for English football|
|Laporte saga nears conclusion as defender earns France call-up|
|Everton are exceeding expectations – Koeman|
|Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant|
|No excuses for Liverpool this time, says Klopp|
|Rashford left out of England Under-21 squad|
|Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka|
|Matuidi could still join Juventus, says Raiola|
|Pardew anticipates battle of the Belgians|
|Legia Warsaw to face Real Madrid behind closed doors|
|England job would be the pinnacle - Pardew|
|Wright sacked by Barnsley|
|Bilic defends West Ham team night out|
|Ramsey withdrawal was Arsenal´s call - Coleman|
|LMA demand ´immediate full disclosure´ of corruption evidence|
|´My answer would be a big fat no´ - Coleman rules out taking England job|
|Leeds dismiss Cellino sting as ´non-story´|
|Gabigol, Rashford and Sanches among Golden Boy nominees|
|Keane slams Arsenal: Half their players will have gloves on soon|
|´Special´ Man City draw a career highlight, says Gordon|
|Southgate admits England situation is ´not ideal´|
|England should have gone for O´Neill, says Shilton|
|PSG´s powers of recovery impress Cavani|
|Howe ´absolutely committed´ to Bournemouth amid England links|
|Man City proved character against Celtic, says Zabaleta|
|Walcott: Sanchez partnership bodes well for Arsenal´s season|
|MLS Review: DC, Impact on track for play-offs|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres, Dallas left waiting|
|Central Sanchez pleases Wenger|
|Barca felt Messi absence - Busquets|
|Martino knew Messi would come out of retirement|
|Shilton never convinced by Allardyce|
|Degenek replaced by Giannou for Socceroos|
|Griezmann will still take penalties - Simeone|
|Simeone proud of ´one of the best´ wins|
|Godin suffers sprained ankle ligament|
|West Ham receive positive news over injured duo|
|Robson: Four wins for Southgate and he´s an England contender|
|Gunes rues Besiktas´ inability to see off Dynamo|
|Sarri: Late goals leave bitter taste|
|Borussia Monchengladbach were exceptional against Barcelona, feels Schubert|
|PSG must be patient, says Emery|
|Celtic are lucky to have Dembele - Rodgers|
|I´m completely focused on Arsenal, insists Wenger amid England talk|