France beats Spirited Socceroos 2-1, VAR made real debut

  • Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba scored for France. Mile Jedinak scored for Australia.
  • VAR was first used to change on-field decision. First goal from both the sides, were scored from penalty.

Young and talented France beat spirited Socceroos 2-1 in their opener in FIFA world Cup at Kazan.

France, which is perhaps richest team as per transfer value of the squad, faced a steep resistance from upbeat Aussies in the opener of World Cup campaign. First half did not see much constructive football by France, as Australians as a team took unbelievable workload, not allowing French to play their own game. Inexperience but talented France side had no clue during first half. The match statistics were incredible, as France and Australia went head to head in ball-possession (51%-49%)and pass accuracy (87%-85%) at FT.

Both team started second half with tally 0-0. France looked composed at the second half. Though any brilliance on field was absent, but they looked motivated and started playing with some intention.

Referee Andres stooped the game after half a minute of a challenge to  Antoine Griezmann by Australian centre-back Joshua Risdon, and watched himself the incident at Referee Review Area, before awarding penalty kick in favour of France. Griezmann took the penalty with clinical finish. This is for the first time that VAR stopped any game during this world cup, which changed the course of the game. VAR system has started a debate and the football world stands divided over the use of VAR.

France beats Spirited Socceroos 2-1, VAR made real debut News World Cup

Australia did not lose momentum after conceding the goal. They equalised within four minutes after they were awarded penalty kick. A long ball was deflected after hitting hands of Samuel Untiti, while he was trying to clear the ball inside penalty area. Referee took no time to indicate towards the penalty spot. Mile Jedinak, the Australian Captain, who has highest conversion rate from penalty kick, made no mistake.

France beats Spirited Socceroos 2-1, VAR made real debut News World Cup
Samuel Untiti, after France conceded the lead

This is where two teams made two substitution each. Didier Deschamps, the French Coach and World Cup winning captain of 1998, brought Giroud and Fekir, while pulling out Griezmann and Dembele. Bert van Marwijk, the Australian coach brought Juric and Irvine, replacing Nabbout and Rogić respectively.

France started playing with some cohesion at this point and Fekir started operating from right flank. At 80th minute of the game Paul Pogba made the difference. As the Manchester Midfielder initiated the move with Paris St-Germain Forward, Mbappé, which resulted to a lob over Australian Goalkeeper Ryan. The ball came back after hitting the post and crossig the goal line.

France beats Spirited Socceroos 2-1, VAR made real debut News World Cup
Australian supporters at Kazan

Match Highlights

Man of the Match – Antoine Griezmann