Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

In a first, VAR used in World Cup as France beat Australia

France vs Australia highlights France vs Australia highlights
Stacy Diaz | 16 June, 2018, 17:56

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

France benefited from a controversial first use of video assistant referee technology at a World Cup as they laboured to a 2-1 win over Australia.

A third chance in the first six minutes arrived when Griezmann's attempt from the edge of the box following a swift France counter-attack was held by Ryan.

Referee Andres Cunha consulted VAR and it showed the ball squeezed across the line.

The Atletico Madrid striker's fierce spot-kick was cancelled out just four minutes later by another penalty, Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak slotting home after Samuel Umtiti handled in the area.

France had started the match at full tilt and Australia was under pressure from the outset before their organisation and structure began to work and they gradually got back into the game to prevent the French attacks.

Les Bleus forward Antoine Griezmann went down in the 18-yard box after a tackle from Josh Risdon in the 54th minute.

In a match that saw Didier Deschamps' men frustrated throughout by a gutsy Australian defensive display, French pride was only restored in the 81st minute.

Deschamps, a World Cup victor with France in 1998, will be thanking his lucky stars after a performance which will give him more questions than answers about his ambitious side - the second-youngest in the tournament after Nigeria. Ousmane Dembele headed the ball into the path of Griezmann, who struck a first-time volley straight at the Brighton keeper.

Now they will face Denmark and Peru in their last two group games knowing that they have to come away with results but also knowing that with the set up that van Marwijk has put into place that they're more than capable of achieving their aim of qualifying for the next stage.

Hugo Lloris had to be at his best after 17 minutes after the French shot-stopper produced a superb low save to keep out Corentin Tolisso's miscued clearance.

Tim Cahill started the first match of his fourth World Cup adventure on the bench, with Andrew Nabbout starting up front.

Four minutes later and Australia was back in the game.

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

The real drama, however, unfolded after the interval with the VAR decision.