VAR used for first time as France fight past dogged Australia

VAR used for first time as France fight past dogged Australia

France were poor and quite fortunate to get the better of Australia 2-1, including the first ever World Cup penalty assigned using VAR.

They would be punished moments later after France were awarded a controversial penalty when Antoine Griezmann was tackled by Josh Risdon bearing down on a through ball.

More penalty drama followed as, just four minutes later, Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak levelled from the spot, his goal coming after France defender Samuel Umtiti's blatant handball, but it was not to be for the men in green and gold.

Les Bleus came into the contest with a great deal of firepower, but their much-vaunted frontline of Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele struggled to break down an obstinate Australian defense in the opening 45 minutes.

France's coach Didier Deschamps (L) takes France's forward Antoine Griezmann's hand during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. The Socceroos faced heartbreak after an inspiring performance in the first-half which saw them suffocate France with their rigidity at the back.

Uruguayan official Cunha initially played on following Risdon's challenge on Griezmann before pointing to the penalty spot after consulting VAR and viewing a screen next to the dugouts.

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Australia keep France at bay in enthralling first half
Ousmane Dembele headed the ball into the path of Griezmann, who struck a first-time volley straight at the Brighton keeper. Antoine Griezmann will lead the attack for France against Australia along with Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar out wide.

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Australia didn't really look like scoring but France wasn't really either until Pogba, who had not been allowed to take his usual control of the midfield, poked home an 80th minute victor.

Ball transmission was also a problem for France as Paul Pogba and Corentin Tolisso never set up a quick tempo in midfield, letting their rivals slow down play.

The closest either team came to scoring in the first half was when France's Corentin Tolisso very almost turned Mile Jedinak's glancing header into his own net.

You could see that the goal really knocked the stuffing out of the Australians who had done so well to stay in the game but in the end they fell to a defeat but they would have taken a lot from the game given how hard they pushed one of the favourites for the World Cup.

Messi's eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, made history on Friday when he became only the fourth player to score at four World Cups on his way to a hat-trick against Spain to earn a dramatic 3-3 draw. "We are not here to make excuses, but it is tough to take". I was really pleased that the ball went in and that we were able to win the match. I cannot blame any of my players I can only give them compliments. At club and country, Giroud has shown his ability to combine with a secondary striker - Eden Hazard at Chelsea and Griezmann for France - while getting wingers into play.

"I don't feel we were beaten by a better team but nearly by technology a little bit".

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