A Resilient Aussie defense held the french team at bay making them have to work hard for their goals. Interceptions, tackles and robustness of the Aussie defence made it difficult for the young and pacy French front line to breach into their opponents’s territory.
The Australian players put up a real test for the French team, one of the top contenders for this world cup and proved to be serious competitors by nearly losing out to the France team in their opening clash of Group C.
France managed to edge past the Aussies courtesy Pogba’s timely chip to give the French the lead and eventually ended 2-1. Australia have lots of positives to take from the game. Whereas for the French team they will be back to the drawing board for a change of strategies wondering how easily the weakest team in the group almost drew with them. Here is what the opening fixture has taught us :
France start with a victory
French team and their shortcomings were exposed in the first match by the Aussies who indeed would be pleased by their performance. But at the end of the day French ream would be happy to go home with 3 points.
A brilliant lob from Paul Pogba assisted by Giroud in the 81st minute sealed the victory for the French side and a heart break for the Socceroos, France face Peru next up and would be looking to make up for the goal tally.
Australia can they make it past the Group ?
Australia showed much discipline in the match after an initial outbreak by Mbappe in the second minute who almost opened the scoring if not for Matt Ryan. The Aussies carried on a much organised first half from there on which although meant they had a little scoring options but kept the French Team at bay.
Sansburry and Ryan were good in defense while the midfield duo of Jedinak and Mooy proved to be threatening but in glimpses.Tim Cahill the country’s top scorer failed to start given his age. He is also on the verge become the fifth player to score in four Worldcup.
Australia are the lowest ranked team in the group which also contains Denmark and Peru.They have lot to take from this spirited performance against France as they line up against Denmark.
“We knew we had to be right at it from the start, maintain that discipline and focus. We got ourselves back in the game, felt ok, but they got that goal…
We’re disappointed. We just didn’t have that luck. That’s football, we have to take the positives out of today and move on…
If we maintain that form and discipline, structure, concentration throughout, let’s see where it gets us. I can’t fault the boys tonight.”
“I’m disappointed because I think we deserved a point. We can be proud of the way we played against one of the best teams in the world. Just before the 2-1 Juric could make the situation and there’s a tackle on him where they get a yellow card and the chance is gone.
VAR First Time Creating History
After a goal less first half and a test for the Iron will of both the sides.The second half saw both the teams going forward.It was evident that the breakthrough would come but it needed a littlt help for VAR Technology.With the Video Assisted Referee introduced for the first time in this world cup.
This encounter went into the history books as the first world cup match with an instance of VAR being used.
Game of Penalties
Josh Ridson of Australia in an attempt to tackle brought down Griezmann in the Penalty box.The refree who was initially seemed to be convinced that it was well timed challenge before turning up to the help of VAR.
The VAR replays showed enough evidence of touch to cause Griezmann to fall ending up in a penalty which the Atletico forward converted.
Four minutes later France were at the receiving end of the next penalty. A Delibrate handball from the defender Umtiti trying to clear a cross. Mike Jedinak stepped up for the Australian side before converting the penalty bringing the score back to square one.
Lot to work on for France
France were lucky to escape with a victory. A lot was expected of the young french side that despite winning the match they fall short of their expectations.
The forward trio of Mbappe, Griezmann and Dembele found it difficult to carry the runs. Griezmann got little scoring chances. There was lack of creative chances and passes from the France team and they would like to look into that.
Much to the surprise of many Tolisso started in the XI as he struggled during the match. It is possible that either Fekir or Lemar might replace him next match for France.