Only Peter Whittingham, currently on loan at Derby, made an appearance as a substitute as Jimmy Briand's late penalty left England's hopes in tatters. Darren Bent had earlier given Peter Taylor's team a 55th-minute lead in Nancy before the talismanic Franck Ribery pulled the home side level just four minutes later, to pull it back to 2-2 on aggregate until Briand swept home a cruel spot-kick.
Liam Ridgewell was again left out, while James Milner found himself edged out by Gary O'Neill and Whittingham made way for Nedum Onoura as England started on the front foot. Bent hitting the post and Kieran Richardson forcing a fine save before ten minutes had gone.
France fought back but it came as no surprise when Bent handed England the lead shortly after half-time with a superb header. Ribery soon equalised with a shot from the edge of the box and Whittingham had replaced Onoura by the time Richardson was harshly adjudged to have upended Lassana Diarra. Briand stepped up and coolly converted to deny England a finals berth.