France down Australia 2-1 in Group C

Arnold Nichols
June 19, 2018

"I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and in that moment, that he wouldn't go to the video screen", the Dutchman said afterwards after being asked his reaction to seeing Cunha rush to the touchline to consult footage of Josh Risdon's foul on Griezmann.

"He's important. He's a great player, and great players are always leaders".

It wasn't the final say technology would have in this game.

But a handball by Samuel Umititi gave Mile Jedinak the chance to equalize through another penalty of the game in the 62 minute.

The next time that France will be taking to the pitch in the Group Stages of this year's World Cup soccer tournament will be on Thursday June 21, and it is that day that the France v Peru match will be kicking off.

With all the talk about the front three, it was the influential Paul Pogba who came to the rescue as France claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win against Australia in their World Cup opener on Saturday. He was 10 months younger than Bruno Bellone, who played at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Griezmann was in blistering form at Euro 2016 on home soil and Didier Deschamps will be hoping for more lethal finishing in Russian Federation this summer.

"I'm going away with 23 of my brothers, so we all get on well. That is the dream".

As it went, Australia weren't behind for long.

Antoine Griezmann netted the 58th minute spot-kick to open the scoring.

Australia delivered a gritty display that bodes well for its next two matches.

"It took a penalty and a deflected goal to beat us".

France had controlled possession and circulated the ball well before the interval, but after four shots in the first eight minutes the French failed to get a single shot on target in the remainder of the first half. "I'm not a big fan of the VAR, but it is what it is".

Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus head to Russian Federation among the favourites to triumph on July 14 but will remember all too well their group stage exits in 2002, as defending champions, and 2010.

The nation's captain and talisman, Paolo Guerrero, tested positive for accidental cocaine consumption and was banned from the World Cup, before being given a reprieve and then being banned again.

"We can't do without him", Deschamps had said during the build-up to the World Cup.

The effort was confirmed by goal-line technology.

But there was to be no seismic activity in Saransk, as Cueva stepped up and blasted his penalty high into the stands. Thousands of Peruvians have made their way to Russian Federation to support Ricardo Gareca's team.

Poulsen squeezed his goal between charging Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and the left post in the 59th minute after collecting an accurate pass from midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Schmeichel blocked Farfan's shot on the line late on, while Gallese denied Eriksen as Denmark looked to put the game to bed.

"It was a hard, complicated match against a tough Australian side".

Cuevas, however, was inconsolable.

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