France beat Australia 2-1 in their opening FIFA World Cup Group C game at Kazan stadium in the Russian city of Kazan on Saturday.
The first goal came in the middle of the second half when Australia defender, Josh Risdon, fouled the French striker Antoine Griezmann. Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha did not stop the game at first, but after the Video Assistance Referee system (VAR) was used he awarded a penalty, and also yellow carded Risdon. Griezmann converted a penalty kick at the 58th minute putting France ahead.
A few minutes later the French defender Samuel Umtiti committed a handball in his own box, and the referee awarded a penalty to the French team. Michael “Mile” Jedinak converted a penalty kick at the 62nd minute.
On the 81st minute Paul Pogba scored the winning goal.
“Paul Pogba gave a good performance today. He is a great player with great potential and has got what it takes. I think he felt more comfortable in the way we played today with three midfielders. He has the freedom to do more for the offense as when we play only with two midfielders.” Didier Deschamps, France coach said after the game.
“I am proud and disappointed. I think we played a great game. I can not blame any of my players I can only give them compliments. There were many situations in which France did not know what to do anymore. At least we deserved a draw.” Bert van Marwijk, Australia coach said postgame.
Denmark and Peru, also in Group C, will play against each other in the city of Saransk later on Saturday. The match will start at 7.00 pm Moscow time.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.