World Cup 2018: Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba’s late objective broke Australian resistance as France began with a win in Group C and historical past was made with the World Cup’s first VAR objective.
The video assistant referee penalised Australia’s Josh Risdon for a sliding problem on Antoine Griezmann, permitting the Atletico Madrid ahead to dispatch a penalty, the primary World Cup objective influenced by VAR.
Nonetheless, a second of insanity from French defender Samuel Umtiti, who dealt with Aaron Mooy’s free-kick, enabled Australia to equalise by means of Mile Jedinak’s penalty in Kazan.
They usually seemed on track to carry one of many pre-tournament favourites till Pogba’s lobbed effort deflected off Australia full-back Aziz Behich and the crossbar to fall inches over the goal-line.
Amid the massive clusters of gold offered by round 10,000 Socceroos supporters, France initially assumed management of this Group C opener regardless of the lengthy journey from their Moscow coaching base.
Kylian Mbappe sparkled early on, racing past the Australia backline to check goalkeeper Mat Ryan after 93 seconds.
That sparked a concerted offensive by Didier Deschamps’ crew however Australia stemmed the tide because the half progressed.
Going behind stirred Australia right into a response within the second interval and Aston Villa’s Jedinak transformed a penalty after Umtiti had senselessly dealt with one other harmful Mooy supply.
However Pogba’s winner, confirmed by goal-line know-how, ensured France opened the match with three factors.
Denmark beat Peru in Saturday’s different Group C match.
Know-how offered the speaking factors in an in any other case flat encounter that didn’t encourage.
In a frenetic 4 minutes in the course of the second half, which was completely out of preserving with the remainder of the sport, VAR was used twice to affect targets.
Risdon was the primary participant to be adversely affected with a penalty awarded a minute after the Australia full-back appeared to the touch the ball onto Griezmann earlier than the striker went down.
Bert van Marwijk’s facet then acquired a penalty of their very own, with Umtiti’s handball confirmed by Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha after it had been checked on VAR.
To spherical off proceedings, Pogba’s lobbed winner was given by goal-line know-how, with Australian goalkeeper Ryan pleading to play on.
France fail to fireside
Whereas all of the pre-match speak was of France’s a lot vaunted entrance three, Ousmane Dembele, Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe had been largely ineffective.
Mbappe – the youngest Frenchman to play in a significant match at 19 years and 6 months – supplied essentially the most hazard however was contained by a well-drilled Australian defence, coupled with a plodding French midfield.
Griezmann did rating from the penalty spot, however he seemed a shadow of the participant who scored seven occasions and offered two assists in his previous two main tournaments.
Each he and Dembele had been withdrawn after 70 minutes after largely nameless shows.
Olivier Giroud, Griezmann’s substitute, struggled to become involved however he crucially laid the ball into Pogba, advancing from midfield, for the successful objective.
Courageous Australia worthy of a draw
Following the shock resignation of coach Ange Postecoglou in November, who mentioned the job had taken its toll each “personally and professionally”, Van Marwijk has had restricted time to arrange.
Nonetheless, whereas he has had simply 4 friendlies in cost, his facet seemed nicely worthy of incomes a creditable draw.
Australia are aiming to emulate their achievements in 2006, the one time they’ve beforehand certified from the group levels in 4 appearances on the finals.
With Huddersfield’s Mooy marshalling midfield alongside Jedinak, they had been compact and nicely organised.
Mooy’s deliveries additionally supplied an attacking thrust and France goalkeeper Lloris saved nicely after a harmful free-kick was flicked in direction of his personal objective by France midfielder Corentin Tolisso.
Whereas Australia might have solely managed two victories in 14 fixtures on the World Cup, there was sufficient promise on this displaying to recommend they will strategy their subsequent recreation towards Denmark on Thursday with optimism.
Man of the match – Paul Pogba (France)
France do not lose when Griezmann scores – the stats
- That is the fourth successive World Cup that France have began the match unbeaten (W2 D2 L0), final dropping in 2002 towards Senegal.
- Australia have misplaced 4 of their 5 opening World Cup video games, with their solely win coming towards Japan in 2006.
- France have solely managed to maintain one clear sheet of their previous seven internationals, towards Republic of Eire in Might.
- All 4 of Mat Ryan’s saves towards France got here within the opening eight minutes, with the keeper conceding the following two pictures on the right track confronted.
- The 2 penalties scored within the recreation between France and Australia had been solely 4 minutes, seven seconds aside – the shortest time period between two penalties being scored by totally different sides in a World Cup match.
- France v Australia grew to become the primary World Cup match since Senegal v Uruguay in World Cup 2002 to see each groups rating a penalty in regular time.
- France are unbeaten within the 18 video games during which Antoine Griezmann has scored (W16 D2 L0).
- The typical age of France’s beginning XI (24y 196d) was their youngest in a World Cup match since July 1930 v Chile.
- Daniel Arzani has change into the youngest participant to make a World Cup look for Australia (19y 163d).
‘I am not going to complain about VAR’ – what they mentioned
France coach Didier Deschamps: “The opening match is all the time a harmful one and we’re very joyful to have gained right this moment, we’re in place.
“It was a extremely troublesome match, the Australian crew was excellent and so far as France is worried we weren’t fast sufficient going ahead.
“Firstly of the match it was not nice, that was apparent. That is the World Cup, we should do higher and we are able to and we are going to. We weren’t fast sufficient on the pitch, our offence was inferior to it ought to have been, however we must always not say we didn’t know what to do. You shouldn’t exaggerate.
“I am not going to complain about VAR as a result of it was in our favour clearly however the referee didn’t see there had been a foul and was capable of right this and proper his mistake.”
Australia coach Bert van Marwijk: “We confirmed guts and we may very well be ourselves, however the subsequent recreation is one other recreation and this provides us confidence.
“The French didn’t know what to do for big components of the sport, however France just isn’t my downside and I cannot speak about them. I want them luck.”
On the French penalty, he mentioned: “I have not seen it again on tv, from my place I couldn’t see it rather well however at first I assumed it was no penalty. The physique language from the referee was that he did not know and it’s important to take a choice – France or Australia.
“From 10 folks, seven say penalty and three say no penalty. It is rather troublesome for a referee to resolve. He was standing very near the second and he immediately mentioned no penalty.
“All people is speaking concerning the VAR however for me it’s the begin and we have now bought to study quite a bit about this technique, however I desire to say one thing concerning the recreation, that’s rather more vital and I can not change the choice.”