France successfully picked up maximum points on their opening group fixture of World Cup 2018 finals in Russia, following a hard fought 2-1 victory over Australia.
Tipped as one the strong favorites to win the tournament, Les Blues started things off brightly, creating several dangerous moments early on, notably from Kylian Mbappe’s pace.
However, as the tie goes, Socceroos were able to hold down tightly and spring forward dangerously at every possible counter attacking play.
After a goalless 45 minutes, France tried to increase their attacking intensity after the break, but they still struggling to break down their opponent’s solid defensive setup.
Fortunately for Les Blues, new technology introduced in the tournament, VAR aided them in persuading the referee to give a spot kick which was converted comfortably by Antoine Griezmann on 58 minutes.
That lead didn’t last long though as on 62 minutes Australia were able to draw level, also through a penalty after Samuel Umtiti handled the ball inside the penalty area.
Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to give Socceroos that important equalizing goal, triggering a much exciting encounter with Bert van Marwick’s side gaining more confidence going forward.
However, it looked like Australia’s energetic display starting to wear off in the last 10 minutes as they starting to make several defensive error and giving more space for France.
That situation was taken into advantage by Didier Deschamps’ men as they regained their lead on 80 minutes through Paul Pogba’s effort, which has to be confirmed by goal line technology as his shot was bouncing out from the goal.
In the end, France got their precious three points, though they need plenty of work and improvement if they are to consider themselves as the tournament’s favorite.