Technology helps France beat gritty Australia 2-1 in Group C

17 June, 2018, 18:35 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Mooy must

France needed the help of the first World Cup penalty awarded after a video review and a deflected Paul Pogba goal to get their World Cup campaign underway with a 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday.

Just 4 minutes later, however, France's Samuel Umtiti made a weird mistake, his flailing arm making contact with a high cross from Aaron Mooy, forcing the referee to award another penalty, which Australian captain Mile Jedinak converted.

Barring Mbappe's goal in the 1-1 draw against the United States, there was little to like about France's disjointed play in their last warmup match and Australia will offer a tougher proposition than the Americans, according to Deschamps.

While Australia coach Bert van Marwijk admitted his disappointment at seeing VAR used against his side, he praised his players' efforts.

That was not lost on the match victor who admitted France will have to go up a few gears if they are to trouble the better teams in Russian Federation.

Griezmann thumped the ball past Australia keeper Mathew Ryan in the 58th minute, triggering cheers from travelling French fans but jeers from the Australians at Kazan Arena.

Australia maintained their defensive shape in the second half but a lapse in concentration was exploited by the French.

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On 17 minutes France 'keeper Hugo Lloris was forced to turn a unsafe deflection from Corentin Tolisso around his far post.

Deschamps, a World Cup victor with France in 1998, will be thanking his lucky stars after a performance which will give him more questions than answers about his ambitious side - the second-youngest in the tournament after Nigeria. Griezmann converted the resulting penalty, firing to the right corner.

Incredibly, moments later Samuel Umtiti stuck up a fist to flick on an Australian free kick and gift them a penalty. Captain Jedinak calmly slotted the ball home to pull his team level.

Though Australia pushed forward in search of an equalizer, France held on to seal an unconvincing victory.

"The body language was that he didn't know", van Marwijk said about the referee. Nobody expected that we could play like this against France. "But, yes, we must do better, and we can do better", said Deschamps.

"I think on the pitch at the time, the fact the play kept going was the strangest thing I've encountered", said 33-year-old Jedinak of the decision, which put France 1-0 up early in the second half.

"The first two replays are the ones we saw on the coverage and I could have sworn he touched it". From running at defenders to threading in through balls into the Australian box, France did everything they could.

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