Handy Henry ends Ireland dream in Paris
France 1 Republic of Ireland 1 (France won 2-1 on aggregate):An epic performance from Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland side was cruelly undone at the Stade de France after Thierry Henry’s double handball went unnoticed in the build-up to William Gallas’s extra-time winner as France booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
Ireland had battled and cajoled the French aristocrats, forcing extra time through Robbie Keane’s goal in the 33rd-minute as the skipper made no mistake in converting a centre from Damien Duff.
Keane had a chance to make it 2-0 only for French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to make a fine save.
Keane also had a great chance in the second half after being put through by the outstanding Liam Lawrence but he ran out of room after rounding Lloris.
Ireland somehow kept up their level of performance in extra time, only for France to take advantage of some poor refereeing and some opportunism by barceloa forward Henry to help France take the lead in the 104th minute.
Sebastien Squillaci looked offside from Florent Malouda’s free-kick and when Paul McShane let the ball drop close to the byline, Henry handled twice to keep the ball in play and centre for Gallas to bundle to ball home and end Ireland’s dream of a trip to South Africa.