Gallas (right) scored the crucial goal as Ireland appealed for a Henry handball
By Lyle Jackson
The Republic of Ireland suffered cruellest of World Cup exits as France went through with a goal which should have been disallowed for handball.
Thierry Henry clearly handled before playing the ball for William Gallas to score the equaliser which saw France win the play-off 2-1 on aggregate.
The Irish led from the 33rd minute after Republic skipper Robbie Keane shot past Hugo Lloris from 10 yards.
But Giovanni Trapattoni's side went out to the controversial extra-time winner.
The debate will rage on about the goal that took France to the 2010 finals in South Africa and how the officials failed to spot such a blatant handball and will likely reignite the debate about video technology being introduced.
The moment Henry broke Irish hearts
After the anger about Fifa's decision to seed the play-offs, the Irish will feel robbed and unfairly treated when up against a bigger nation.
Republic players protested strongly when Swedish referee Martin Hansson, who was hampered in his sighting of the incident, gave the goal.
It is hard to imagine a more heartbreaking end to Ireland's attempt to reach the finals after going through their group, which included champions Italy, unbeaten.
France, in the stadium where they won the 1998 World Cup, started the match more confidently.
But they suffered a ninth-minute blow when Julien Escude was forced from the field with a head injury and was replaced by his Sevilla team-mate Sebastien Squillaci.
Squillaci had a chance in the 20th minute from Henry's cross but sent his header over the crossbar.
For the Republic, Kevin Doyle also went close from a Liam Lawrence cross but failed to make good enough contact with a close-range header under pressure from Gallas.
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