Paul Pogba lauds Socceroos fans after win over Australia

Bert van Marwijk Socceroos

France went into this tournament as one of the favourites to lift the World Cup trophy, but they have much to do if they hope to go far in this tournament.

Uruguayan referee Andrés Cunha awarded Les Bleus a penalty when Antoine Griezmann was brought down by Josh Risdon's tackle, but only after originally overlooking the decision and consulting the VAR after the phase of play had finished.

Earlier, it was a awful lack of concentration from Samuel Umtiti in the 60th minute that saw Australia's captain Mile Jedinak scoring the equaliser from the penalty spot for the Socceroos.

Indeed, the first half proved to be largely barren, as Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele found themselves restricted to sporadic pot-shots and craven attempts to coax freekicks in advanced positions.

Le Blues dominated the opening exchanges in the first, while the likes of Mbappe and Pogba tested goalkeeper Matt Ryan in the first 10 minutes.

Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann produced the best of the efforts, connecting well with a powerful half-volley from distance which Ryan dealt with comfortably.

The Socceroos have been undone by misfortune against a somewhat underwhelming French outfit, losing their first game of the 2018 World Cup 2-1.

On paper, they are paupers to France's footballing royalty, have little firepower up front and their modest defence faces a huge task to fend off their opponents' raids.

With almost an hour played, France finally did take a lead.


Australia were awarded a penalty of their own on hour mark when Samuel Umtiti handled in the box.

That goal really shook the France players as they lost any kind of rhythm that they were builiding up after taking the lead and that played into the Australians hands.

Paul Pogba has been stripped of France's winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 Group C victory over Australia in Kazan, with his 81st-minute strike ruled as an Aziz Behich own goal. I can not blame any of my players.

"I'm disappointed because I think we deserved a point".

"The way we wanted to play, they did it for 95% (of the game) so I can't blame any players, I can only give them compliments".

France coach Didier Deschamps said, "We are very happy to have won as it was a highly hard match". I told my teammates that if we maintain that structure and concentration we showed today, let's see where it gets us.

Australia's players claim they are ready to "move on" and are focusing on trying to beat Denmark on Thursday (Jun 21) in a bid to reignite their bid for a place in the last 16.

Australia captain Mile Jedinak put on a fearless face but admitted the frustration was palpable a day after the Socceroos' World Cup campaign was compounded by a historic but controversial VAR decision. We can be proud of the way we played against one of the best teams in the world.

"But. he's also a human being and everybody makes mistakes".

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