News ID: 216770
Published: 0359 GMT June 16, 2018

France claims narrow 2-1 win over Australia at FIFA World Cup

France claims narrow 2-1 win over Australia at FIFA World Cup

The France men’s national football team, nicknamed Les Bleus (The Blues), has achieved a last-gasp win over Australia in its first fixture at the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia.

On Saturday, the French squad could edge past the Australian outfit 2-1 in a Group C fixture played at Kazan Arena in Kazan.

Australia's defense delivered an encouraging performance throughout the first half, frustrating French footballers’ attacks.

Kylian Mbappe, forming a fearsome attacking trio with Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, tormented the Socceroos’ defense in the hope of netting the opener. Their endeavors to break the deadlock did not pay off though, Presstv reported.

Australia team even had the best chance in the 17th minute, when Aaron Mooy's free kick took slight deflections off teammate Mathew Leckie and 23-year-old French midfielder Corentin Tolisso, prompting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to pull off a save and tip the ball away.

After the interval, Les Blues built up pressure in a bid to materialize their domination.

Australia then became the first victim of the video assistant referee (VAR) technology, when it adjudged Australia’s 25-year-old defender Josh Risdon to have committed a foul on Griezmann in the box.

The French striker lashed home the historic spot kick in the 58th minute.

But Australia hit back just four minutes later, when France’s center-back Samuel Umtiti inexplicably handled the ball in the penalty area.

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak sent the French goalie the wrong way to force a draw and level the score at 1-1.

For about 20 minutes thereafter, Australia held firm and denied French strikers time and space.

French midfielder Paul Pogba Pogba, who had been criticized after recent below-par performances, however ran at pace at a loose ball nine minutes from time, hitting a chipped shot off.

The ball deflected off Australian defender Aziz Behich and looped over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and sealed Les Blues’ victory.

Later in the day, Peru will take on Denmark in the other Group C match at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk.

During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, the host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay were put in Group A in the preliminary round of the tournament.

The Iran men's national football team, nicknamed Team Melli, has joined Portugal’s A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco.

France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.

Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.

Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.

Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia opened the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. The hosts won the match 5-0.

A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

Resource: presstv
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