Irish cruise into World Cup last 16

FRANCE are out of the World Cup – the first defending champions to go out in the first round since Brazil in 1966.But the Republic of Ireland are through to the last 16 after a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

FRANCE are out of the World Cup – the first defending champions to go out in the first round since Brazil in 1966.

But the Republic of Ireland are through to the last 16 after a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

Goals from Robbie Keane, Gary Breen and Damien Duff sent the Irish through. In the end it was a comfortable victory, though Mick McCarthy's men had to survive a long rocky spell before half-time.

Germany also went through as Group E winners – but not before they had a man sent off in a game that set a new World Cup record for yellow cards.


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There were 16 yellows shown during the Germans' 2-0 win over Cameroon and both sides finished with ten men. German midfielder Carsten Ramelow and Cameroon striker Patrick Suffo were the men sent for early baths.

World and European champions France succumbed meekly, beaten 2-0 by Denmark. France went to Korea with what looked a much stronger strike force than when they won the World Cup on their own soil four years ago.

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Yet they are on their way home having failed to score a single goal in three games. They finished bottom of their group with just one point from a goalless draw with Uruguay last week.

Today's result – combined with a 3-3 draw between Senegal and Uruguay - means Denmark finish top of Group A and will play the runners-up in England's group in the first knock-out round.

If England top Group F when they play their final group match against Nigeria tomorrow, they will go on to play Senegal in the next round.

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