Griezmann hits VAR penalty as France squeeze past Aussies

Bert Van Marwijk

Griezmann hits VAR penalty as France squeeze past Aussies

"It's here and it's here to stay, so I think we've just got to move on", he said.

The most optimistic fans of Les Bleus will remember that France started its campaign in Russian Federation with a 2-1 win over Australia.

The other two teams in Group C, Denmark and Peru, play today at 5p.m BST.

Griezmann, expected to make a huge impact on Russian Federation 2018 after topping the Euro 2016 scorers with six goals, was left frustrated by a solid Socceroos defensive display in a tight first half.

A result against France looks fanciful, but if they are within touch late in the second half, look for Van Marwijk to inject 38-year-old striker Tim Cahill, who is bidding to become only the fourth player ever to score at four World Cups.

Before Griezmann's feat, Mbappe had made history at kick-off by becoming the youngest French player, at 19 and six months, to start a World Cup game.

Deschamps, a World Cup victor with France in 1998, will be thanking his lucky stars after a performance which poses more questions than answers about his ambitious side, the second-youngest in the tournament after Nigeria.

For the first 10 minutes of this match, France looked as though they might run away with the game and perhaps the tournament itself as they overwhelmed Australia with composure and intent, which led to several promising efforts on goal from Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

An Australian team determined not to suffer the all but tournament-ending torpedoes their predecessors had at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups - when we conceded twice inside the first half hour at both competitions - were compact and committed early.

As the ball was knocked out for a throw-in in the following play, the tackle was brought to the referees attention by the VAR team.

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk bemoaned his side's misfortune in Kazan, as he suggested his side did enough to claim a point on a day when he felt his tactics had stunted the ambition of France.

"From my position, I couldn't see it really well, I thought at first it was no penalty". And the Socceroos will need this same fearless attitude when they take on France this Saturday.

Technology was used again for the third goal, as ex-Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba saw his shot come off the underside of the bar and bounce just over the line with the aid of a deflection.

"If I said that I'm frustrated by the decision I wouldn't be lying".

It was the first match and it's always very important to get a win. Mile Jedinak made no mistake from the spot and restored parity for his side to breathe life back into the game. There were many situations in which France did not know what to do anymore.

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