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Video Assistant Referee system used for 1st time in WC history

19 Juin 2018

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said his gutsy team should count themselves just plain unlucky to have gone down 2-1 to France in their World Cup opener on Saturday and can look forward with confidence to their remaining Group C matches.

"The referee did not see there was a foul and he rectified", responded Deschamps after being questioned about the goal action of Griezmann who scored the first VAR-assisted penalty.

With France's Group C match against Australia deadlocked, Paul Pogba threaded a pinpoint pass to Antoine Griezmann, who went down in the box following Joshua Risdon's challenge.

Only 4 minutes later, Australia was awarded a penalty kick as Umtiti cleared the cross with his hand.

Barring Mbappe's goal in the 1-1 draw against the United States, there was little to like about France's disjointed play in their last warmup match and Australia will offer a tougher proposition than the Americans, according to Deschamps. The referee also needed the help of goal-line technology before allowing Pogba's match-winner as the ball bounced off the crossbar. It's hard. To play like that and lose to one of the best teams in the world.

In any case, France never deserved to take the lead after such an average performance.

In its fifth World Cup, Peru has faced the eventual champion in every tournament it has participated - Uruguay in 1930, Brazil in 1970, Argentina in 1978 and Italy in 1982.

Although Griezmann wrote himself into the history books by becoming the first player to score at the World Cup from a VAR verdict, he suggested some of France's World Cup débutants had suffered stage fright. "However, after the referee did not blow his whistle, I forgot about VAR - all the better for us [that it exists]". Against the Americans, they created all France's unsafe moves and played several clever one-two combinations.

The Socceroos goalkeeper was by far the busiest player on the pitch in the opening five minutes, stopping a Pogba free-kick, before getting down well to save a long distance strike from Griezmann.

The goal was Pogba's 10th goal for France.

While France will now take on Peru, Australia will lock horns with Denmark in their next FIFA World Cup clash. Ahead of them, the much-vaunted front three of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe had pace but no reference point.

But the flaws evident against Australia were more tactical than mental and the responsibility for those problems lies firmly with the coach, not the players.

"I wish them all the luck, and I mean that", he said.

Hello good morning and welcome to matchday three of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Video Assistant Referee system used for 1st time in WC history