France beat Australia 2-1 in their opening World Cup 2018 match on Saturday after the Video Assistant Referee system was used for the first time in the competition’s history.
Antoine Griezmann had a penalty awarded thanks to VAR and scored before Mile Jedinak equalised for Australia from the spot. Paul Pogba’s 81st minute shot bounced over the line off the crossbar to give France a narrow win in the Group C clash at the Kazan Arena.
France had dominated the first half of their opening World Cup encounter against Australia but have failed to make a breakthrough against their stubborn opponents. Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe have posed quite a few problems for the Australians but have been wasteful in the final third. Australia despite defending for large parts of the game had the best chance from a free-kick but were denied by a smart save from Hugo Lloris.
France coach Didier Deschamps left Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud on the bench as teenager Mbappe led Les Bleus’ front line in Kazan. Mbappe, one of 14 players in France’s squad who have yet to feature in a major tournament, has been in great form for Paris Saint-Germain last season and started Saturday’s Group C opener flanked by Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona.