France 1 – Ireland 1 (Agg. 2-1) (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) Ireland were fantastic from the start of their match in Paris, and in the 33rd minute their reaped their due rewards as an incisive move from Damien Duff down the left was finished by Robbie Keane’s finish into the far corner. Damien Duff had the chance to put the game out of sight early in the second half but the Fulham man fluffed his opportunity with a weak right foot shot at Lloris. The match was forced into extra time, where controversy struck in the 102nd minute as Thierry Henry handled the ball on the Irish touchline before his cross was nodded in by William Gallas.
Slovenia 1* – Russia 0 (Agg. 2-2) (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) 2-1 up from the first leg, the Russians were left breathing a sigh of relief after 13 minutes in Slovenia and a cross which cannoned off a defender lucky rebounded off the post. On the stroke of halftime the home crowd went wild, a cross from the left was converted by the stray leg of Zlatko Dedic and the Slovenians went bananas. Alexander Kerzhakov crippled Russia’s chances by getting himself sent off for kicking out at home keeper Handanovic after spurning a goalscoring opportunity. Slovenia qualified on away goals.
Bosnia 0 – Portugal 1 (Agg. 0-2) (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) A single away goal from Raul Meireles ten minutes into the second half, a low strike in the bottom corner, confirmed Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo’s place at the World Cup.
Algeria 1 – Egypt 0 (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) In a powder-keg atmosphere in Sudan, it only took three minutes for a brawl to break out between Algeria and Egypt and then just a minute later Hany Said saw his header saved by the Algerian keeper. On the quarter hour Algeria then saw Antar Yahia’s effort saved off the line following Ziani’s free-kick, and later in the half Egyptian keeper El Hadary was forced to tip over a difficult free-kick from underneath his bar. Five minutes before the break, after Egypt had looked in control, the Algerians went berserk as Antar Yahia met a cross at the back stick and smacked home a cracker from an acute angle. (First half highlights here.) A superb save from El Hadary to keep out Ghezzal’s header kept Egypt in the game on the hour, and minutes later Algeria had keeper Chaouchi to thank after saving a point-blank shot from Emad Metoeb. Algeria held on to qualify for their first World Cup since 1986 amid wild post match celebrations.
Ukraine 0 – Greece 1 (Agg. 0-1) (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) After their goalless first leg, Greece struck first in the Ukraine to claim a crucial away goal as Dimitris Salpigidis was found through the middle and the striker coolly slotted in the opener.
Uruguay 1 – Costa Rica 1 (Agg. 2-1) (2010 World Cup playoff, November 18, 2009) Substitute Sebastien Abreu settled Uruguay’s nerves with the opener on 70 minutes. Five minutes later Costa Rica pulled one back through Walter Centeno but the home side held on to secure a place in South Africa.