FIFA World Cup: France vs Australia, 5 Talking Points
France toiled in their World Cup opener against Australia before eventually claiming all the three points for the 2-1 win. The Socceroos frustrated the mighty European outfit for large spells of the match with solid defending and almost grabbed an unlikely point.
There was yet more VAR controversy as France were the beneficiaries of a questionable review which resulted in its first penalty. Australia restored parity with a spot-kick of their own just four minutes later, but Paul Pogba was on hand to strike the winner with just ten minutes to play.
A drab opening half cut open significantly in the second, yet failed to produce genuine moments of quality. Here are the major talking points from the match:
#1 A game of two halves
Australia's cautionary approach in the first-half meant France spent most of the time trying to penetrate through the watertight Socceroos defense, but to no avail. The stellar attacking vanguard failed to produce anything of note, while Australia's attempts at the other end were futile to say the least.
The opening 45 ended without much goalmouth action apart from Kylian Mbappé's promising run after two minutes, which rung the danger bells for the Asian outfit. However, the second-half was relatively more entertaining and also opened up the match more as tired legs became a factor.
Two penalties in the space of just five minutes lit up the contest, as both sides then pushed for the all-important winner. France were finding more space in the final third, while Australia finally showed some attacking intent and looked threatening themselves.
Chances suddenly flew at either ends, although barely any of them were of genuine quality. Les Bleus eventually snatched all three points after Pogba's deflected strike cannoned in off the crossbar.