France got their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign off to a winning note by defeating Australia 2-1 at the Kazan Stadium on Saturday.
Paul Pogba scored nine minutes from time to hand France a nervy win after Mile Jedinak’s goal from the penalty spot had cancelled out Antoine Griezmann’s strike also from the spot.
After a goalless first half where France dominated the play, 13 minutes into the second half Griezmann was fouled in the 18-yard box after a tackle from Josh Risdon.
The referee did not give award a penalty to Griezmann who was adjudged to have gone down too easily but the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) saw play halted for a replay of the incident.
Replays showed that there was a minimal contact from Risdon and a penalty was awarded to the Les Bleu which Griezmann calmly converted in the 58th minute to give Didier Deschamps’ men the lead.
In the 62ndm minute, France also conceded a penalty after Samuel Umtiti handled the ball in the box.
Mile Jedinak stepped up to sen France goalkeeper and captain Huge Lloris the wrong way to level the scoring at 1-1.
With nine minutes left to play Pogba scored the winner when his flicked ball was deflected in by Aziz Behich. The goal was Pogba’s 10th goal for France. It was confirmed by goal line technology.
France will on Thursday take on Peru in their next game in Group C while Australia will face Denmark.