France v Australia 16 June 2018

17 June, 2018, 03:38 | Author: Kim Reid
  • France FIFA World Cup Socceroos

The tournament's second-youngest team arrived in Russian Federation with lofty ambitions 20 years after Deschamps captained Les Bleus to the 1998 World Cup title at the Stade de France.French players celebrate after scoring their first goal on a penalty kick during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018.

France's heralded attacking trio of Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele failed to ignite against a dogged Australian outfit, with Van Marwijk stating: "I think the French didn't know what to do against us, for big parts".

The French enjoyed a lion's share of the possession for most of the first half, but they were unable to carve out another clear-cut opening in the half.

Until Risdon's foul on Griezmann, Australia's defenders had been superb, making sure the French strikers did not get too many balls.

A risky surge by the Socceroos had Behich troubling the French goal in the dying moments of the first half but his shot would not sit as the Socceroos and Les Bleus entered the sheds 0-0 at the half.

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Matthew Leckie and Josh Risdon link up beautifully in a textbook overlap on the right flank.

"He was standing very close to the moment of the penalty, and he said directly, "Go (play) on".

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti inexplicably handled a free-kick in the box, allowing Socceroos captain Jedinak to calmly send Lloris the wrong way. Mile Jedinek rolled the ball to Lloris' left to draw the Socceroos, deservedly, level.

Paul Pogba poked toward goal, the ball deflected off the boot of Australia's Aziz Behich and looped into the crossbar before falling centimetres over the line.

Van Marwijk looked dejected during his post-match news conference.

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France retook the lead with probably the best move of the match in the 81st minute.

Youngster Daniel Arzani made his world cup debut and showed off his pace in a final flurry, but the minnows again struggled in the offensive third.

France will be looking to kick-start their campaign with a victory against Australia, which could be tough for Les Blues, who are one of the favourites for this year. "Then you have to ask why they want to look at the replay".

It was the Manchester United Midfielder Paul Pogba with a spectacular goal over the top of the keeper which won France the game, despite brilliant display of organised football and defense from Australia.

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