VIDEO: France claim a narrow win in Ireland; Russia & Portugal get their noses in front; Egyptian late show takes Algeria to a playoff; Nigeria & New Zealand make the World Cup

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Ireland 0 – France 1 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Irish looked comfortable for large chunks of their match with France, but in the 72nd minute Les Bleus struck as the ball fell to Nicolas Anelka on the edge of the box and the Chelsea striker’s shot deflected off St Ledger and into the net.

Russia 2 – Slovenia 1 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A fabulous shot on the turn from Everton’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 40th minute blasted the Russians ahead of Slovenia in playoffs. (First half highlights here.) Guus Hiddink’s men then scored a decisive second minutes into the second half with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov bagging his second of the match with a snap-shot in the Slovenian box. But at the death Slovenia netted a crucial away goal, Andrej Pecnik turning home a rebound after Akinfeev made a fine stop in the Russia goal.

Portugal 1 – Bosnia 0 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) Portugal took the lead over Bosnia on the half hour as Porto defender Bruno Alves met a right wing cross from Nani to head home at the back post.

Greece 0 – Ukraine 0 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) Ukraine arguably had the better of the chances in the first half (highlights here) but neither side could score, and a dour match failed to improve in the second half.

Costa Rica 0 – Uruguay 1 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) A goal midway through the first half from Diego Lugano gave Uruguay a sizable advantage going into the second leg in Montivideo on Wednesday.

Egypt 2 – Algeria 0 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Egypt, playing their arch-rival Algeria, sent the Cairo stadium mental after just 120 seconds as Amr Zaki cracked in the opener after the Pharaohs had battered down the visitors backline. (First half highlights here.) Six minutes of injury time were order at the end of the match, and with just two minutes remaining Emad Moetab headed home a cross from the left to ensure the enemies face off in a playoff after finishing the group equal on points and on goal difference.

Morocco 0 – Cameroon 2 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) A tidy left-footed shot from Achille Webo, which cannoned into the net off the post, put Cameroon into the lead in Morocco. Samuel Eto’o grabbed a second, tapping in a corner at the backpost early in the second half.

Kenya 2 – Nigeria 3 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Kenya opened the scoring when Dennis Oliech burst into the box in the 16th to beat Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama with a low shot. But Obafemi Martins leveled for the Super Eagles in the 62nd, netting from close range with an assist from Peter Odemwingie. Ayegbeni Yakubu then hit the post in the 65th but converted the rebound to make it 2-1 for Nigeria. But Nigeria’s World Cup dreams were nearly shattered when Allan Wetende equalized with a header in the 79th before Martins’83rd minute winner.

Mozambique 1 – Tunisia 0 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Dario’s 83rd minute winner for Mozambique hammer a final nail in Tunisia’s World Cup dreams.

New Zealand 1 – Bahrain 0 (Agg. 1-0) (2010 World Cup playoffs, November 14, 2009) Rory Fallon headed home the only goal of the game on the stroke of halftime (first half highlights here), while goalkeeper Mark Paston also saved a penalty to see the All Whites through to South Africa. (Second half highlights here.) At full time the All Whites celebrated wildly as they booked their place in South Africa.