A dramatic game in Paris saw Ireland take the lead in the first half and hold on to force extra time in the Stade de France.¬†¬† After surviving a strong penalty claim by the French (who also had a goal ruled out for offside) France finally scored towards the end of the first period of extra time, although Thierry Henry had¬†handled the ball and the goal should not have been allowed to stand.
Ireland pushed hard in the second period of extra time, but ultimately were unable to score the goal that would have seen justice done in the game and sent them through, and it is France that¬†will be joining the party in South Africa next June and July.
Algeria, Greece, Portugal, and Slovenia had already secured qualification earlier in the day, with the biggest shock seeing Slovenia knockout Guus Hiddink’sRussian side.
With 31 of the 32 teams now confirmed, the last remaining place will be decided when Uruguay play Costa Rica in Montevideo in a game that kicks-off at 23:00 GMT tonight ( Uruguay ¬†lead 1-0 from the first leg ).
You can read more about the tournament including the full list of qualified teams on our World Cup 2010 Guide.