FPJ's Dream XI predictions for France and Australia

Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele

Antoine Griezmann scored from the first VAR-assisted penalty awarded in the history of the World Cup as title hopefuls France battled to a 2-1 win over gutsy Australia in Kazan on Saturday.

They began with objective and forced three saves out of Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan inside the opening six minutes.

Heading into the game, France were the clear favourites and it took less than two minutes for Kylian Mbappe to get a shot on target, with the Paris Saint-Germain attacker seeing an effort palmed away by Mathew Ryan at the near post.

After multiple views of the replays, the VAR ruled it as a penalty which Griezmann converted successfully to give his side a 1-0 lead in the 58th minute. However, since then the team are in good form and also have gritty results against tough opponents.

The Uruguayan official had earlier stood by the side of the pitch to watch the challenge by Josh Risdon on Griezmann on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) monitor and decided the Australia right back had brought the French striker down in the area.

Moments later, however, a handball from Samuel Umtiti on a cross into France's area conceded a penalty in Australia's favour.




France had started the match at full tilt and Australia was under pressure from the outset before their organisation and structure began to work and they gradually got back into the game to prevent the French attacks. Mile Jedinak stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, 1-1.

Paul Pogba struck the victor in the 81st minute when his half-volley snuck in off the crossbar. Ousmane Dembele headed the ball into the path of Griezmann, who struck a first-time volley straight at the Brighton keeper.

Technology was never going to rid football of controversy, however, and Australia coach Bert van Marwijk was not alone in thinking that it was not a foul with Risdon making contact with the ball before Griezmann tumbled over his trailing foot.

The trio did do enough to ensure France had the better of the opening half but Australia had the best chance to score before the break when a deflection off Frenchman Corentin Tolisso from an Aaron Mooy free kick was well saved by Lloris. They will face Denmark on June 26 in their final group stage match.

The lead did not last long, though, as Australia levelled with a spot-kick of their own four minutes later, and this time there was no doubt about the award.

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