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History made as VAR used to give France a (controversial?) penalty

18 June, 2018, 11:13 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Pogba Bags France Winner Vs Australia As Technology Reigns

Paul Pogba scored nine minutes from time to hand France a nervy win after Mile Jedinak's goal from the penalty spot had cancelled out Antoine Griezmann's strike also from the spot.

The goal was Pogba's 10th goal for France.

The first usage of Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) caused controversy in the World Cup group stage game between France and Australia.

Pogba, whose victor was aided by goal-line technology after his strike clipped a defender and bounced off the underside of the bar, told TF1: "It is the World Cup - there are no small teams". But Australia won't progress from a World Cup also-ran to a serious threat without learning from its mistakes - even if they happen to be pointed out with the help of technology.

Griezmann's well-struck shot was the first VAR-awarded penalty at a World Cup.

The French can thank technology for providing them a "fair" 2-1 win over Australia.

GK Mat Ryan, 6 - Beaten by a Griezmann penalty and an unlucky deflection off Paul Pogba, but otherwise a solid performance.

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Another big VAR talking point is the timing of reviews - how long the delays are. Play has to be stopped when there is a review, and this slows the game down.

France had controlled possession and circulated the ball well before the interval, but after four shots in the first eight minutes the French failed to get a single shot on target in the remainder of the first half.

There was no doubting the quality of the approach play to Pogba's goal, though, after he exchanged one-twos with two team mates to carve his way through the middle of the Australia defence.

The result makes it hard for Australia to get out of the group stage, with matches to come against Denmark on Thursday and Peru the following Tuesday.

Critics of the system say it takes spontaneity out of the game, but the VAR interventions at this year's World Cup have so far been quick and "painless". I haven't seen the replays yet but I think he hits my trailing leg running into the box. "He's a very ambitious player but in the locker room, the (team) bus and the base camp, he was happy", said France left-back Lucas Hernandez, who also plays for Atletico.

A good result for France, but this dynamic attack was anything but. It is that giving the ball up so easily and so often will usually come at a price against truly world-class players.

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