A late Paul Pogba goal and a VAR-assisted penalty from Antoine Griezmann helped France to a scarcely deserved 2-1 win over Australia.

2018 World Cup

21

Match Events

2′ CHANCE! Mbappe’s shot saved

5′ CHANCE! Griezmann’s shot saved

18′ CLOSE! Lloris makes a great save

45′ CHANCE! Behich’s shot wide out

58′ Penalty Goal! France 1-0 Australia (A. Griezmann)

PENALTY IS GIVEN! The defender slid in on Griezmann who darted through on goal. The referee initially said “no pen” but the VAR officials had a second look when the ball next when out of play. The referee came pitchside and had a look at his TV. It was deemed there was contact! Penalty given. Controversial.

SMASH! Super finish from Griezmann. France lead – but it’s dripping in controversy.

62′ Penalty Goal! France 1-1 Australia (M. Jedinak)

Pressure? What pressure? The skipper confidently steps up and rolls a calm strike into the bottom corner. Perhaps justice for Australia after the VAR call arguably went against them! France back to square one!

72′ 2 substitutions for France

80′ GOAL! France 2-1 Australia (P. Pogba)

A ball breaks to Pogba about 20 yards out, in charges Behich who makes a fine tackle but the ball deflects back towards Ryan who is off his line.

The ball bounces off the underside of the crossbar and back into play. The referee looks at his watch…and goal-line technology confirms the ball had crossed the line.

MATCH REPORT

Antoine Griezmann scored the first penalty given by VAR in World Cup history as France edged past Australia 2-1 in their Group C opener.

France were a long way from their best at the Kazan Arena, with their heralded attacking trio of Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele failing to ignite against a dogged Australian outfit.

After a disjointed first half, the game sparked into life shortly after the interval as referee Andres Cunha awarded a penalty to France after consulting VAR and deciding that Josh Risdon had clipped Griezmann just inside the area.

The Atletico Madrid striker’s fierce spot-kick was cancelled out just four minutes later by another penalty, Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak slotting home after Samuel Umtiti handled in the area.

Didier Deschamps’ side looked to be heading for a disappointing start to their campaign, but Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba saw his deflected effort bounce off the crossbar and narrowly over the line 10 minutes from time to secure all three points.

France will hope for a more fluid performance against Peru on Thursday, while Australia will look to get their campaign back on track when they face Denmark.

Line-ups

France XI: Hugo Lloris, Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Corentin Tolisso, Lucas Hernández, Ousmane Dembélé, Benjamin Pavard, Kylian Mbappé

Subs: Blaise Matuidi, Steve Mandanda, Adil Rami, Steven N’Zonzi, Olivier Giroud, Djibril Sidibe, Alphonse Areola, Benjamin Mendy, Florian Thauvin, Nabil Fekir, Thomas Lemar, Presnel Kimpembe

Australia XI: Mark Milligan, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Aziz Behich, Mathew Leckie, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon, Tomas Rogic, Andrew Nabbout

Subs: Tim Cahill, Brad Jones, James Meredith, Danny Vukovic, Matthew Jurman, Dimitri Petratos, Milos Degenek, Tomi Juric, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine, Jamie Maclaren, Daniel Arzani.

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