France needed help from VAR and a deflected effort to get past Australia in their first match of World Cup 2018. The 1998 winners battled their way to a 2-1 victory, which was very unconvincing.
Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the second half from the penalty spot after a successful use of VAR. The Atletoco Madrid striker was through on goal, but was challenged from behind. The referee waved play on, much to the frustration of the France players and fans.
But after the ball went out, he used the VAR for his assistance. After three to four viewings, he adjudged the tackle as illegal, and gave France the penalty. Griezmann took the spot-kick, and converted it to make it 1-0 for France.
A few minutes later, Australia got a spot kick for themselves, after Samuel Umtiti was adjourned of handling the ball. The Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak stepped up and equalized.
It seemed the match would be heading for a draw, before Pogba got the all-important second goal late on. His strike took a deflection from the defender, and the ball looped over the Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
Lloris: The France skipper made a tremendous save in the first half, but could do nothing about Jedinka's penalty. His passing was his usual good. (7)
Pavard: The least known member in the French squad did his job well at the right back. He tried to make runs in the attacking half, but did not have the final delivery. (6)
Varane: A strong defensive show from the Real Madrid centre-back. He was like a rock, and at times, made marauding runs forward. A very good display. (7)
Umtiti: What on earth was Umiti thinking when he handled the ball is something only he will know. He was otherwise good, but a moment of madness let him down. (5)
Hernandez: The Atletico Madrid full back went forward on every occasion, and looked as much of a threat as the attacking players. Did a bit of play acting as well. (7)
Kante: Another impressive display in the midfield by the little Frenchman. He was the only one who shone while Pogba and Tolliso struggled. Very good with passing, even better with his tackling. (8)
Tolliso: The young Frenchman started in order to give his team's midfield some legs and energy. But the occasion seemed to get the better of him, as he always looked one step behind others. (5)
Pogba: He was billed as the most important player for France ahead of the tournament. But in the first half, he was literally anonymous, and most times frustrated. But he showed his class in the second half, scoring the winner and putting in some brilliant passes. (7)
Griezmann: Not one of the days he would want to remember, even though he scored. The Atletico forward was the least involved in the front three. But when it mattered, he stepped up. (7)
Mbappe: The youngster just keeps on getting better and better. In the first 15 minutes, he looked unplayable. And even when France struggled, he was the one trying to make things happen. (7)
Dembele: The Barcelona youngster tried hard, but it did not happen for him. He will surely improve going ahead into the tournament. (6)
Giroud: He came for Griezmann, and brought in the physicality needed. Was involved in the second goal of Pogba with his link up play, and his arrival put pressure on the Australian defence. (7)
Fekir: The Lyon captain took the place of Dembele, and brought in freshness and energy with him. Unlike Giroud, he did not make any direct contribution. (6)
Matuidi: Replaced Tolliso in the final stages of the match. Did not have much time to make an impact. (NA)
Ryan: Made some good saves early on and later in the game. Could do nothing about the penalty, and was unlucky with the deflection in the second goal. (7)
Risdon: Struggled against the pace of Mbappe, and had his hands full of Hernandez. Also conceded the penalty. (5)
Sainsbury: The centre-back, much like his partners, was exposed in the first 15 minutes, but did well since then. Could have done nothing for the two goals. (6)
Milligan: Just like his centre-back partner, didn't do much wrong. Was unlucky to see his side concede two despite his efforts. (6)
Behich: The left full back showed promise in the attack, and wasn't much troubled defensively. (6)
Leckie: Received a yellow card for a foolish tackle early on, and was lucky not to be sent off for an elbow. Did little of noteworthy in the attack. (5)
Jedinak: A proper captain's performance from the midfielder, as he led his troops beautifully. He did not allow the French midfielders time on the ball, and also scored the equalizer from the spot. (8)
Mooy: Like his captain, Mooy was all round the place, covering every inch of the pitch. His set piece deliveries were also quite good. (7)
Kruse: The former Bayer Leverkusen winger is one of the bigger names in the squad, but struggled to make a mark against France. (6)
Rogic: Playing behind the forward, Rogic did not have the best of the games, and wasn't really involved much in the attacking play. (6)
Nabbout: The striker was picked to lead the line for Australia, and did well at times. But his link up play and hold up play left a lot to be desired. (6)
Juric: Came on for Nabbout after they Australia had equalized. Didn't get many chances. (5)
Irvine: He replaced Rogic with 20 minutes to go. Couldn't do much in his stay on the pitch. (5)
Arzani: With his side trailing, he replaced Kruse, but had nothing to do in his 10 minute stay. (5)