Griezmann hits historic VAR penalty as France squeeze past Australia

Joshua Risdon was adjudged to have fouled Antoine Griezmann in the box

For France coach Didier Deschamps, there were - not surprisingly - no complaints: "I'm not going to complain about the use of video today, because it went in our favour".

Australia, who felt aggrieved as defender Risdon appeared to have touched the ball before tripping Griezmann with his follow-through, quickly levelled through Mile Jedinak's spot-kick, before a late goal from Paul Pogba clinched victory for France.

It was a huge sight of relief for Les Bleus, who went from making a bright start to finishing the opening half wondering how to pierce the Australia back line.

France's coach Didier Deschamps (L) takes France's forward Antoine Griezmann's hand 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.

But Australia were beaten 2-1 by France after finding themselves on the wrong end of Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha's decision to award the French a penalty just before the hour mark.

The Australia midfield stalwart was left bamboozled after defender Josh Risdon was penalised on review for bringing striker Antoine Griezmann down during the 2-1 loss at Kazan Arena on Saturday.

Tomi Juric replaced fellow forward Andrew Nabbout as Australia made a change and, buoyed by the equaliser, they threatened again as a good move involving Mooy resulted in a cross that France blocked.

Aaron Mooy sent a free-kick flying into France's area, and in an attempt to clear with a header, Samuel Umtiti bizarrely raised his arm to make contact with the ball.

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Bert van Marwijk's side look destined for an unlikely draw before Paul Pogba's deflected victor with nine minutes remaining on the clock.

But Paul Pogba claimed the match for France later on, with goal-line technology confirming his deflected shot had gone in off the woodwork. "We are not here to make excuses, but it is tough to take". After all, Van Marwijk did take Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final, where they were defeated by all-conquering Spain.

"The first two replays are the ones we saw on the coverage and I could have sworn he touched it".

"But, like I said, we have still got to play the game and focus on the game and try not to let those little things, or sometimes they could be big things, try not to let it distract us to much".

For long periods, France looked devoid of ideas and struggled to break down a hard-working and well-organized Australia side who were happy to keep most of their players behind the ball.

Giroud made the decisive pass that led to Pogba's late victor, and Matuidi helped France recover the ball higher on the pitch and accelerate play with his neat one-touch football.

"I'm disappointed because I think we deserved a point. But when he went to see if there was a penalty I immediately thought about how I would take it".

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