epa06812410 Antoine Griezmann (L) of France and Trent Sainsbury of Australia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group C preliminary round soccer match between France and Australia in Kazan, Russia, 16 June 2018.
Saturday Jun 16, 2018. 13:59
Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba helped France beat Australia 2-1 in their opening Group C match in the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Kazan Arena in Russia on Saturday afternoon.
Following this result, Didier Deschamps’ men now sit at the summit with three points whilst the Socceroos occupy the fourth spot with zero points from this loss.
The opening 10 minutes saw the French side dominating the attacks and they forced three saves from the keeper, Matthew Ryan.
After the 15th minute, Hugo Lloris was called to action with a glorious save to deny Australia.
Despite their dominance in the heart of the park, the 1998 world champions could not break the Aussies' defence and it was 0-0 at the interval.
However, as they emerged from the tunnel, the Les Bleus were awarded a penalty and Griezmann converted to break the deadlock in the 58th minute.
Although the referee did not initially award a penalty, a decision from the Video Assistant Referees reversed the decision to allow the French side an opportunity to grab the lead.
A few minutes later, Samuel Umtiti was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
The Uruguayan referee pointed to the spot again, allowing Mile Jedinak to convert and make it 1-1.
Good combinations in the heart of the park by France saw midfielder Pogba showing his class in the 81st minute.
The midfielder unleashed a stunning shot which bounced off the underside of the crossbar, leaving Ryan with no chance to save it – VAR allowed the goal to stand, 2-1.
The Aussies pushed numbers forward in search of an equaliser, yet they could not trouble Lloris and his defence.
France: (0) 2 (Griezmann 58’ P, Pobga 81’)
Australia: (0) 1 (Jedinak 62’ P)
France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Pogba, Griezmann (Giroud 69’), Mbappe, Tolisso (Matuidi 78’), Hernandez, Kante, Dembele (Fekir 70’)
Australia: Ryan, Milligan, Leckie, Kruse (Arzani 84’), Nabbout (Juric 63’), Mooy, Jedinak, Behich, Risdon, Sainsbury, Rogic (Irvine 71’)