Australia's two banks of four-man defensive walls shut down the channels for France to play their way through to goal. Moments later, the referee was given the opportunity to consult the VAR service, and chose to award a penalty.
The decision divided opinion on social media, with some protesting that Ridson's touch made the subsequent contact irrelevant, and others claiming the officials had not made a "clear and obvious error" in not initially awarding a spot-kick.
Defender Samuel Umtiti, who handled the ball to give Australia their penalty, thanked his teammates for helping him to put his mistake behind him.
"It's the World Cup, it's the first match".
What World Cup 2018 games can I watch today?
"For a lot of our players it was their first match (at the World Cup), but we know that, technically, we didn't play to our potential", he said.
Griezmann was clipped by Joshua Risdon, but Cunha did not blow immediately and instead used technology to revisit the incident.
Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak sent his French counterpart Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to give Australia hope of forcing a draw at the Kazan Arena only for Pogba to grab the victor in the 81st minute.
But after 15 minutes of solid defending, Australia grew into the game and conjured up the best chance so far.
"When you end the European Championship the best goal-scorer in your own country, you show the world that you have the shoulders to handle the pressure". Paul Pogba poked toward goal, the ball deflected off the boot of Australia's Aziz Behich and looped into the crossbar before falling centimetres over the line. "He was even the captain, so he'll take us to the right path".
Possession of ball: France 56%, Australia 44%. They also have a skilful and inspired playmaker in Aaron Mooy.
France will also face Peru and Denmark in Group C.