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.
Antoine Griezmann buries the penalty after VAR ruled he was fouled in the box! pic.twitter.com/uO2QsI3BRl— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2018
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.
Penalties giveth, penalties taketh away.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2018
Australia equalizes after Umtiti is called for a handball in the box. pic.twitter.com/fxzQQNiN21
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.
What a run by Paul Pogba to finish off a pretty team goal! 😍 pic.twitter.com/xfPqDQDyDU— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2018