France beat Wales 9-8 in a Rugby World Cup semi-final at Eden Park here on Saturday.
Wales had to play most of the match a man down after captain Sam Warburton was sent off in the 19th minute for a dangerous tackle on Vincent Clerc that ended with the France wing landing head-first on the turf.
At that stage, Wales were 3-0 in front.
Morgan Parra kicked three penalties to give France a 9-3 lead heading into the final quarter.
But a brilliant try by Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips, the only one of the match, cut the French advantage to just a point, with Stephen Jones’s conversion attempt hitting the post.
And with five minutes left, Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny saw a penalty attempt from just under half-way dip narrowly below the crossbar.
Two-time losing finalists France, yet to win the World Cup, will face the winners of Sunday’s second semi-final between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park in the October 23 final at the Auckland ground.