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Antoine Griezmann scored the first penalty given by VAR in World Cup history as France edged past Australia 2-1 in their Group C opener.
France were a long way from their best at the Kazan Arena, with their heralded attacking trio of Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele failing to ignite against a dogged Australian outfit.
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.
The Atletico Madrid striker's fierce spot-kick was cancelled out just four minutes later by another penalty, Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak slotting home after Samuel Umtiti handled in the area.
Didier Deschamps' side looked to be heading for a disappointing start to their campaign, but Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba saw his deflected effort bounce off the crossbar and narrowly over the line 10 minutes from time to secure all three points.
France will hope for a more fluid performance against Peru on Thursday, while Australia will look to get their campaign back on track when they face Denmark.
90+5 Peep! All over here in Kazan and France win 2-1 thanks in part to a VAR goal and a helping hand from goal-line technology. On the balance of play, they should be happy to come away with the points. Match Report to follow.
90+2 The throw comes to nothing. I think France have won this.
90+2 Australia are pushing in the final stages for a late leveller. Mooy knocks in a dangerous ball into the box, France hack it clear. Long thow time!
90+1 Some quick feet from keeper Matt Ryan to clear the ball under pressure from Fekir. He's been impressive for the Socceroos today.
90- Five minutes of Extra time.
87- Fekir stands over the free-kick. It's wasted by the Lyon man, as Australia clear their lines. Incidently Australia defender Behich picked up a yellow for the challenge.
81- Robbie Kruse comes off for the Socceroos. Teenanger Daniel Arzani comes on. Imagine if the forward can find the back of the net in the final minutes of the game!
80- Goal!? Thanks to goal line technology! France go 2-1 up. Pogba's deflected effort lobs Ryan, and bounces off the cross bar. It's just over the line. France lead 2-1
79- Plenty of commitment from the Australian midfield.
77- Last moment of note for Tolisso who is replaced by Blaise Matuidi. That's the final sub for France.
75- That was a bit naughty from Tolisso as he hacks down Juric. A deserved yellow card.
72- Nabil Fekir gets amonst the action quickly looking for the ball. He's shut out by a swarm of gold shirts.
70- Sub for Australia. Rogic, who has been supurb today is replaced by Jackson Irvine.
69- Double sub from France. Griezmann makes way. Olivier Giroud along with his bandaged head makes his way onto the pitch. Fekir replaces Dembélé
65- That goal has woken up the Australian fans. The Socceroos are growing in confidence here.
63- First sub for Australia Nabbout makes way. Tomi Juric is on his place. A like for like change.
61- Goal! The Aston Villa man calmly knocks the ball past Loris! 1-1! Game on!
60- Penalty up the other end!? The Socceroos get the pen! Umtiti is judged to have handled the ball. Up steps Mile Jedinak..
56- Goal! Griezmann scores the first ever VAR assisted goal at the World Cup. He smashes it into the right hand corner. Dissapointingly no fortnight inspired celebration from the Atletico man. 1-0 France!
54- Some VAR Drama?!? Griezmann takes a tuble in the box. Play on. The ball goes out of play and the referee reviews the footage, he points to the penalty spot. Giving Ridson a yellow for the challenge. Griezmann steps up for the penalty...
53- Risdon whips in a cross towards Nabbout. Verane does enough to get it away!
50- Australia have started the second half in the same vein as the first. Nice and solid.
47- I wager that Didier Deschamps will make a change on the hour mark, I think Olivier Girousd will be the player to come on.
Peep! We are back underway in Kazan
Zlatan Ibrahimović has joined us in the Arabic studio. He had plenty to say on the French team.
Half Time Vote- How is this going to go? Join in the fun via our Twitter account!
45- Peep! It's 0-0 at the break. France have had the majority of the ball, but no cutting edge when it mattered in front of goal. Austalia have been compact and solid and is always a threat from set pieces.
44- Behich cracks a shot over the bar. Nice effort that from the Australian defender.
43- France ending the half on the front foot here. Pogba picks out Griezmann, but Australia get the ball away. Trent Sailsbury has been magnificant today.
38- Nabbout leaves a little extra on Lucas Hernández. A real reducer. Amazing the Australian striker doent pick up a yellow.
35- That was a magnificant tackle from Mooy on Mbappé to win the ball back for the Socceroos. Whisper it, but the Australians are playing quite well here.
30- Chance for France. The ball is clipped up to Antoine Griezmann, his first touch eludes the Athletico man and Trent Sainsbury clears the ball.
28- Mexican Wave news. It's happening in Kazan. Right Now.
28- Nope, forget it! Loris comfortably grabs the ball.
27- Pogba fould Lekie upsteps Mooy, perhaps another moment of magic from the Huddersfield man?
24- Australia have kept the wolf from the door in the opening 25 minutes with Mile Jedinak impressing in central midfield for the Socceroos.
21- Trent Sainsbury knocks down Dembélé who is coming at full pelt down the left wing. Amazingly the defender doesnt pick up a yellow card.
17- A golden chance for Australia. Mooy over the freekick, Leckie gets the flick on which is saved by Lloris. Trent Sainsbury couldnt get there in time to follow up on the rebound!
14- Pogba picks out Mbappé with a near perfect through ball, it's just a little long for the teenanger and skips into the arms of Ryan.
12- Mathew Leckie picks up the first yellow of the game for a rash tackle on French left back Hernández.
11- It's a good freekick into the box, Mathew Leckie gets a head to it, which flies over the bar. A chance fo rthe Socceroos
10- Australia seem shakey on the ball. Pavard concedes a dangerous freekick on the left hand side. Up steps Aaron Mooy...
7- Mbappé drifts in a freekick to the head of Griezmann, it deflects into the path of Ryan who clears.
5- Australia keep the ball for a minute before France break. Mbappé pulls off an outrageous backheel to Dembélé. The ball eventually falls to Griezmann, his shot is saved. What a flying start from France!
4- Pogba gets the ball over the wall, but it's straight into the arms of Ryan. Les Blues have started well.
3- Mbappé is hacked down just outside the box. Paul Pogba stands over the ball.
1- First chance for France! Mbappé's shot is pushed out by Australia keeper Matt Ryan for a corner.
Peep-We are underway in Kazan! Australia get this party started!
National Anthems are done! Nearly time for the game! If you don't fancy following the game with me you can watch it all on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Right! Ten minutes away from Kick-off and we have a prediction in from a certain Jack Prescott. He's going for a lovely 3-0 France win.
France to earn a solid 3-0 win. You heard it here first.— Jack Prescott (@JackPrescott86) June 16, 2018
After the team news comes the actual News! Kate Mason gives us a run down of the games coming up! Including some insight from Croatia man Luca Modric.
We have team news! It's a very youthful France side with teenager Kylian Mbappé & 21-year old Ousmane Dembélé leading the line. As for the Socceroos, they are looking to keep it tight against the French. Captain Mile Jedinak will have to play out of his skin if Australia are to cause an upset this afternoon.
It's a youthful French side crammed full of world class players! Our boy Matt Spiro gives us the lowdown from the pitch in Kazan!
The Kazan Arena is looking magical in the sunshine! We get underway at 13:00 Mecca!
Cristiano Ronaldo showed his enduring class last night bagging a hat-trick as Portugal and Spain played out a pulsating 3-3 draw. The guys from the Express go over the talking points from last night!
Hello! Welcome to the Live Updates for France Vs Australia. Day three of the World Cup has four games, and Les Blues kick us off as they take on Australia in Kazan. Much has been made of the quality in the French side, and have even been talked up as potential World Cup winners in some quarters. Didier Deschamps team will be looking to set down a marker when they take on an Australian side who will be looking to frustrate their European opponents.
France will be looking to kick-start their group C campaign with a victory against Australia, who could prove to be a tough test for Les Blues, who are amongst one of the favourites for this year’s tournament. As ever you can watch the Live Stream of the game from the Kazan Arena Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Didier Deschamps’s side is crammed with talent, and could easily field two full-strength sides in the tournament. The preparation has gone well for Les Blues, with friendly victories over the likes of Russia, Ireland and Italy on route to their opening game in Kazan.
PSG star Kylian Mbappe is likely to start on the wing in the opening tie against the Socceroo’s and his pace will be crucial as France look to break quickly in the attack. Still only 19 years old, the precocious teenager has the potential to be one of the breakout stars of the World Cup, an early goal could go some way in sealing that reputation.
France Predicted Team
Lloris; Mendy, Varane, Rami, Pavard; Kante, Pogba, Tolisso; Mbappe, Lemar, Griezmann
How to watch Online- beIN SPORTS CONNECT
TV Channel- MAX HD3
Stadium- Kazan Stadium, Kazan
As for Australia, they will be making their fourth consecutive World Cup finals. The Socceroos also have an experienced coach in Dutch tactician Bert van Marwijk who led his native Holland all the way to the final in 2010.
Australia has prepared well for the 2018 tournament, with a creditable 0-0 draw against Columbia and an impressive 4-0 win over the Czech Republic. A positive result against the French would set Australia up for getting out of group C, especially with games against Denmark and Peru upcoming.
Australia Predicted Team
Ryan; Risdon, Sainsbury, Jedinak, Behich; Luongo, Mooy, Leckie, Kruse, Irvine; Juric
Playmaker Aaron Mooy is set to start against France and will be charged to make the Socceroo’s tick creatively. Fresh from an impressive debut Premier League season with Huddersfield, Mooy is likely to be deployed as a playmaker against France and will be a threat from set-pieces for his side.
It promises to be an interesting match as France take on Australia in their opening game of B. You can watch all the action Live & Exclusive on MAX HD3 & beIN SPORTS CONNECT.