Australia keep France at bay in enthralling first half

16 June, 2018, 21:57 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele

Mat Ryan had to be on his toes from the kick off as he was brought into action four times in the first eight minutes.

"That's not simulation." Griezmann admitted France had not played well.

He looked to dip the ball over goalkeeper Matt Ryan, and while it may have taken a deflection of an Aussie defender, the ball dropped in.

However midway through the first half, Australia started fighting back, with Sainsbury going close to scoring after a flawless free kick from Aaron Mooy.

N'Golo Kante helped France beat Australia 2-1 in their World Cup opener and also sent Aaron Mooy back to Sydney.

Griezmann was thwarted by a well-timed Trent Sainsbury challenge as France tried to get back on the offensive, and another Sainsbury intervention saw Hernandez thwarted after he had found space on the left. Mile Jedinak stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, 1-1.

A challenge by Josh Risdon on Antoine Griezmann was ruled as a clean one by the Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha before it was referred to the VAR.

The tournament's second-youngest team arrived in Russian Federation with lofty ambitions 20 years after Deschamps captained Les Bleus to the 1998 World Cup title at the Stade de France.French players celebrate after scoring their first goal on a penalty kick during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018.

Heading into the game, France were the clear favourites and it took less than two minutes for Kylian Mbappe to get a shot on target, with the Paris Saint-Germain attacker seeing an effort palmed away by Mathew Ryan at the near post.

Moments later, however, a handball from Samuel Umtiti on a cross into France's area conceded a penalty in Australia's favour.

Didier Deschamps responded with a double change after 70 minutes as Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir replaced Griezmann and Dembele.

Les Bleus had started the game in ominous fashion, carving out three chances in the opening six minutes.

Van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the final in 2010 before an extra-time defeat to Spain, said however he was not bitter against France.

Although all of the defining moments came in the second half, the first half had also been a good contest.



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