France claimed a place in their third Rugby World Cup final by edging out Wales 9-8 in their semi-final at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny had a chance to win it in the dying minutes but his 50m penalty goal attempt fell just short, as did their hopes of advancing through to a maiden World Cup final.
Halfpenny's miss came after Stephen Jones failed to convert the only try of the game - scored by Mike Phillips - with Jones' kick another wasted chance to take the lead.
The Welsh led early via the boot of James Hook, but his penalty was cancelled out by three from Frenchman Morgan Parra.
Wales pushed hard with a 25-plus phase possession that went past the 80-minute mark, before they knocked on, handing France possession and the game.
It was the first time the two sides had met at a World Cup, but for France it was their sixth semi-final appearance at seven World Cups.
Les Bleus, who lost two matches in pool play to New Zealand and Tonga, will take on the winner of Australia and the All Blacks, who play their semi on Sunday.
A gutsy Wales side suffered a double blow in the first half when captain Sam Warburton was sent off for an illegal tackle on wing Vincent Clerc and prop Adam Jones came off with an injury.
As was the case in the side's win over England in their quarter-final, it was the French loose forwards, led brilliantly by their captain Thierry Dusautoir, who made the difference.
Both sides created early chances with Hook opening the scoring with a penalty goal, before Wales lost Jones with a calf injury.
Hook had a chance moments later with another penalty goal but his attempt went wide.
The loss of Warburton proved a body blow to the Welsh side, who was given a red card for a body slam on Clerc.
Parra levelled the scores for France with a penalty goal in the 21st minute.
A clearing kick from Hook in the 24th minute was charged down and the ball flew to prop Jean-Baptiste Poux. He rumbled toward the line but France were unable to maximise the chance and when the ball was knocked on in back play, Wales were able to clear through Phillips.
A strong burst by Roberts down the sideline opened up a chance for Wales and Hook cross-kicked to Shane Williams' corner but his marker Alexis Palisson cleared and it was Parra who kicked France to the lead in the 34th minute with his second penalty goal.
Wales, playing with the wind, attempted to put the high ball to use as they enjoyed a territorial advantage of 65 percent, but generally the kicking proved an ineffective tactic.
Parra extended France's lead to 9-3 in the 49th minute, just after Hook had been substituted for Stephen Jones to make his 103rd international appearance.
Phillips found a gap to power to the line and close the gap but Jones was unable to add the conversion.
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