World Cup qualifier: Republic of Ireland 2-2 Italy

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Substitute Alberto Gilardino netted a last-gasp equaliser to secure Italy's place at the World Cup and send Republic of Ireland into the play-offs.

In front of a bumper crowd of 70,640 at Croke Park, Glenn Whelan had fired the home side ahead after just eight minutes but Mauro Camoranesi's 26th-minute equaliser sent the Italians in level at the break.

The hosts appeared to be on the brink of a famous victory after Sean St Ledger put them into the lead three minutes from time.

But, with the clock ticking down, the potential hero failed to close down Gilardino and he had enough space to calmly slot the ball past Shay Given.

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