France Trounce Australia 2-1

Marcus Newton
June 18, 2018

Their sheer depth of talent has made them among the tournament favourites, yet scepticism lingers over the manager's ability to get the best out of his stars.

After a disjointed first half, the game sparked into life shortly after the interval as referee Andres Cunha awarded a penalty to France after consulting VAR and deciding that Josh Risdon had clipped Griezmann just inside the area. "I think we deserved a draw", the Dutchman said.

But French celebrations were short-lived, Australia captain Jedinak levelling only four minutes later after a clear hand ball by Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.

The most optimistic fans of Les Bleus will remember that France started its campaign in Russian Federation with a 2-1 win over Australia.

France head into their World Cup opener against Australia in Kazan on Saturday sweating on the fitness of fullback Djibril Sidibe and under pressure to deliver an emphatic win to erase doubts about the cohesion of a team of brilliant individuals.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba put France ahead for good in the 81st minute, his right-footed chip deflecting off Aziz Behich and hitting the underside of the bar and sending the referee's watch buzzing, indicating that the ball had crossed the line. It was complicated, the Australian team was very good.

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It was France's custodian Hugo Lloris who was tested most, keeping out a Mooy free kick that French defender Corentin Tolisso nearly deflected into the bottom corner of his own goal. No one expected we could play like this against France. There were many situations in which France did not know what to do anymore.

After the equalizer, both sides became much more physical as they anxiously searched for the victor.

France, however, improved after Deschamps brought in as second-half substitutes the seasoned Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi.

On 17 minutes France 'keeper Hugo Lloris turned a risky deflection from Corentin Tolisso around his far post.

Griezmann stepped up and confidently opened Les Bleus' World Cup account in the 58th minute.

Mbappe won a free kick 25 yards out after a challenge from behind but Paul Pogba's curling effort over the wall was straight to Ryan. Didier Deschamps couldn't have asked for much of a nicer bedding-in game than this meeting against Australia, who lost all three of their group-stage games in 2014 and have arguably declined since.

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