European Championship runners up France kicked of their World Cup campaign on Saturday with a narrow 2-1 win over Australia. The 1998 winners are among one of the pre-tournament favourites in Russia and started Group C with three points in front of 41,279 in Kazan. The game also saw VAR used in a World Cup match for the first time.
The technology awarded France a penalty in the second half following a goalless opening 45, after it judged Antoine Griezmann had been fouled by Joshua Risdon in the area. Griezmann scored the resulting spot kick, only for Mile Jedinak to equalize soon after in the same fashion after Samuel Umtiti’s handball. The winner came somewhat fortunately from Paul Pogba, who saw an attempted clearance bounce of his foot and land over the goalline by the narrowest of margins.
France’s second group game match sees them face Peru on Thursday (1700), while Australia meet Denmark on the same day at 1400 CEST.