Australia - World Cup - 16 June 2018

Calvin Saunders
June 16, 2018

Griezmann fired this effort from 12 yards to Ryan's left - with the goalkeeper not moving - but three minutes later, Australia got the justice that they felt they deserved when been given a spot kick at the other end.

The video assistant referee penalised Australia's Josh Risdon for a foul on Antoine Griezmann, allowing the Atletico Madrid forward to dispatch a penalty, the first World Cup goal influenced by VAR.

France were sluggish throughout the Group C clash but went ahead on 58 minutes after Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty. However, since then the team are in good form and also have gritty results against tough opponents.

When Antoine Griezmann went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Josh Risdon it was the first time in worldwide football the Video Assistant Referee was used to determine a decision.

Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha checked the goal-line monitor on his watch and awarded the goal as Australia keeper Mat Ryan stood holding the ball in his hands.

There was an early shock for the Socceroos, with captain Mile Jedinak starting the match, despite being tipped to miss out on an opening berth to Massimo Luongo.

In defence, full back Djibril Sidibe might still be with the squad but his knee injury means he is highly unlikely to play with Benjamin Pavard stepping up to occupy the right flank outside Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti.

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France's play was losing its early intensity, with passes beginning going astray and Australia growing in belief as the half-hour approached.

It was a huge sight of relief for Les Bleus, who went from making a bright start to finishing the opening half wondering how to pierce the Australia back line.

Aaron Mooy's delivery from the left was deflected towards his own goal by Corentin Tolisso, but Hugo Lloris was aware of the danger and turned the ball aside for a corner.

Deschamps had warned of the improvement Australia have made under Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk, who took over from Ange Postecoglou in January.

France are hoping to join tournament favourites Brazil, Germany and Spain in the latter stages as they look to make amends for losing the Euro 2016 final to Portugal.

While Deschamps was giving nothing away on Friday, only three will start with Griezmann's form making him nearly certain to lead the line and the experienced Giroud perhaps the player to miss out.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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