France awarded penalty in first VAR overrule at World Cup

Tanya Simon
June 17, 2018

And they looked on course to hold one of the pre-tournament favourites until Pogba's lob deflected off Australia full-back Aziz Behich and the crossbar to fall inches over the goal-line.

"He was standing very close to the moment of the penalty, and he said directly, "Go (play) on".

Minutes later Australia drew level through a spot-kick of their own although it was awarded by the referee, with Mile Jedinak coolly beating Hugo Lloris.

Griezmann was voted man of the match, but said he felt teammates N'Golo Kante or Lucas Hernandez should have got the prize instead. But after a consultation with the VAR, Cunhua pointed to the spot.

Didier Deschamps' side are back in action on Thursday when they face Peru on before taking on Denmark on June 26 in their final Group C fixture.

Samuel Umtiti was involved in one of the most weird moments at the World Cup so far in France's match against Australia.

But Pogba's victor, confirmed by goal-line technology, ensured France opened the tournament with three points.

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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.

"I didn't expect such a tough game and to play against a team so well organised", he added in the mixed zone.

It was understandable the Socceroos would play with restraint in attack so as to avoid leaving gaping holes at the back, but there were times that their defensive attitude resulted in cheap turnovers as players refused to attempt forward passes through France's three-man midfield.

Australia delivered a gritty display that bodes well for its next two matches.

MF Aaron Mooy, 7 - A strong start defensively grew into an impressive all-round display.

Kylian Mbappe became the youngest player to represent France at a World Cup at 19 years, 178 days. But in the second half of the game everything would come to life.

Chelsea hero Desailly, who won the 1998 World Cup on home soil, insists the 22-year-old is just "one level lower" than what is required for the national team.

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