France became the first team to overturn a two-goal deficit in a FIFA World Cup play-off, denying Ukraine a place in Brazil in the process.
France will appear at their ninth successive major tournament next summer after two goals from Mamadou Sakho and one from Karim Benzema completed a memorable comeback in Paris. Yehven Khacheridi's dismissal reduced the visitors to ten men soon after half-time.
With Didier Deschamps making five changes from the side that lost 2-0 in Kyiv on Friday, Les Bleus hit the ground running, and Paul Pogba rose to flash a header just over Andriy Pyatov's goal from Mathieu Valbuena's corner. On 22 minutes, the Ukraine defence failed to deal with a Valbuena free-kick, and while Pyatov palmed away Franck Ribéry's shot from the edge of the box, Liverpool FC centre-back Sakho was on hand to score his first international goal from the rebound.
That ended a run of eight clean sheets for Mikhail Fomenko's team, and though Ukraine threatened on the break, France kept pushing upfield, with Pyatov forced to save from Valbuena and Benzema having a goal disallowed. However, the Real Madrid CF man was not to be denied on 34 minutes, registering after Valbuena chested the ball in his direction.
Mathieu Debuchy blocked a powerful Andriy Yarmolenko attempt on the line with half-time approaching, yet it was not a portent of better things to come for Ukraine, with Khacheridi sent off two minutes after the restart for a second bookable offence, a foul on Ribéry. The pressure built and built thereafter until Sakho turned in Ribéry's cross to win the tie.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.
|1||Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)||12||Andriy Pyatov (GK)|
|4||Raphaël Varane||8||Roman Zozulya|
|6||Yohan Cabaye||13||Vyacheslav Shevchuk|
|7||Franck Ribéry||14||Ruslan Rotan (C)|
|8||Mathieu Valbuena||15||Roman Bezus|
|14||Blaise Matuidi||20||Yaroslav Rakitskiy|
|16||Steve Mandanda (GK)||23||Rustam Khudzhamov (GK)|
|23||Mickaël Landreau (GK)||2||Denys Dedechko|
|11||Samir Nasri||5||Dmytro Khomchenovskiy|
|12||Gaël Clichy||6||Taras Stepanenko|
|13||Clément Grenier||9||Oleh Gusev|
|17||Dimitri Payet||17||Valeriy Fedorchuk|
|18||Moussa Sissoko||18||Mykola Morozyuk|
|20||Loïc Rémy||19||Serhiy Sydorchuk|
|21||Rio Mavuba||22||Marko Dević|
|Didier Deschamps (FRA)||Mikhail Fomenko (UKR)|
|Damir Skomina (SVN)|
|Matej Žunič (SVN), Bojan Ul (SVN)|
|Slavko Vinčić (SVN)|