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FIFA World Cup 2018, France vs Australia, Highlights: France Trounce Australia 2-1 | June 17, 2018, 8:12 AM IST
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The Group C opener between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena on Saturday pitches some of the best young attacking talent at the World Cup against a team which has often struggled to find the net in recent years.
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Jun 16, 2018 5:29 pm (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 5:26 pm (IST)

FULL TIME: That's the final whistle folks, France have beaten Australia 2-1. Greizmann opened the scoring in second half via penlaty and then Jedinak equalised by converting from the spot. Pogba then hit the winner in the 81st minute to give the Les Bleus a well deserved win.

Jun 16, 2018 5:19 pm (IST)

90 minutes of football has been played between the two sides and five minutes regulation time has been added now. Since scoring that second goal, France have looked very comfortable and will be confident of seeing out the match. 

Jun 16, 2018 5:14 pm (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 5:14 pm (IST)

Yellow Card: Behich becomes the third Aussie star to be booked today after be brought down Fekir just on the edge of the box in the 86th minute of the match. Free-kick to France who have now taken full control of the match.

Jun 16, 2018 5:10 pm (IST)

GOLAZO: France put together a stunning move in the 81th minute of the match and Paul Pogba lobs the ball over the keeper and it goes inside the goal after touching the inside of the bar. France have now taken a 2-1 lead in the match. Pogba hits back at his haters in style!

Jun 16, 2018 5:04 pm (IST)

Yellow Card: A deliberate foul from Tolisso after Juric was running towards the goal and his foul stops the counter-attack. Tolisso becomes the first French man to go into the books in the 76th minute.

Jun 16, 2018 4:58 pm (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 4:57 pm (IST)

Substitution: Double change for France, Griezmann is being taken off and he is replaced by Giroud. And Dembele has also been taken off and on comes Fekir in the 70th minute of the match.

Jun 16, 2018 4:54 pm (IST)

Stat Attack: The last time both teams were awarded a penalty in the same game was the 2010 Quarterfinals when Spain faced Paraguay. Both penalties were saved however.

Jun 16, 2018 4:50 pm (IST)

GOAL: Mile Jedinak converts from the spot, same as Griezmann and the match is level once again. Jedinak rather coolly slotted home the ball towards the left of Lloris as went the other away. The match is level at 1-1 again in the 62nd minute. 

Jun 16, 2018 4:48 pm (IST)

Penalty:  An outrageous piece of play from Samuel Umititi and Australia have now been awarded a penalty. The French defender handled the ball inside the D and the Aussies have been given a chance to level the match in the 61st minute. 

Jun 16, 2018 4:46 pm (IST)

GOAL: An emphatic penalty from Greizmann and France lead 1-0 in the 56th minute of the match. The striker blasted the ball towards the left of the Aussie goalkeeper and the Frenchman have taken a deserved lead. 

Jun 16, 2018 4:44 pm (IST)

VAR and Penalty: Griezmann was felled inside the D after Pogba gave an excellent through ball to the Atletico star. After the referee gave no foul, VAR came into play an penlaty was finally given in the 55th minute of the match.

Jun 16, 2018 4:35 pm (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 4:33 pm (IST)

The players are back on the pitch and we are underway in second-half. Both teams played out a rather cagey first half and will look to make amends in the second, especially France and their supremely talented attacking stars.

Jun 16, 2018 4:18 pm (IST)

Half-time: That's it folks, the players head into their respective dressing rooms for the half-time break. France looked good early on but it was Australia who had the better chances in the match. Both teams have plenty to ponder during this short break ahead of the crunch second half.

Jun 16, 2018 4:16 pm (IST)

Chance: Australia almost went 1-0 up just before the half-time as Jamie Mclaren hit a fierce curling shot from the edge of the box and it went agonisingly wide of the target. Lloris looked a bit worried for a moment. 

Jun 16, 2018 4:12 pm (IST)

Australia have done well to frustrate the French superstars thus far. They are not letting them play free flowing football and that is the reason the score is still reading 0-0. But credit to Australia the way that they have played thus far. Good is defence and dangerous on the counter. Match locked 0-0 after 40 minutes.

Jun 16, 2018 4:03 pm (IST)

Chance: Mbappe sent Griezmann through to the goal with an excellent lobbed through ball. The Atletico star trapped the ball spectacularly but before he could unleash a shot, the ball was cleared by a defender. 30 minutes have been played and the match is locked at 0-0.

Jun 16, 2018 3:55 pm (IST)

20 minutes have been played and slowly and steadily Australia have grown into the match and they are playing much better now. Meanwhile, as for the French attackers, they haven't clicked together as much as they would have liked. Although they have created chances but no clear cut as yet.

Jun 16, 2018 3:49 pm (IST)

SAVE: Against the run of play, Australia almost went 1-0 up in the match in the 17th minute. Following a free-kick, the ball touched the feet of Pavard and it was going inside the bottom corner but goalkeeper Lloris makes a flying save to keep the match level at 0-0.

Jun 16, 2018 3:44 pm (IST)

Yellow Card: Australia's Leckie is the first player to get into the referee's books as Leckie brings down Lucar near the edge of the box and he felled him from behind and therefore he has been shown the card in the 13th minute.

Jun 16, 2018 3:41 pm (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 3:40 pm (IST)

10 minutes have been played in the first half and the French attackers have hit multiple shots so far at the Aussie goal. However, they haven't troubled the goalie that much so far as all the shots have been very timid to say the least. The match locked at 0-0.

Jun 16, 2018 3:35 pm (IST)

Chance: Pogba also makes his intentions clear early on as in the fourth minute of the match, France were awarded a free kick neart the edge of the box. Pogba opted to take it and his shot was on target as well. But the Aussie clear was positioned well and he made a routine save. 

Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm (IST)

Chance: Early chance for France as in just the 2nd minute of the game, Mbappe found space behind the Aussie defenders but the angle was bad from where he had to shoot and his shot was easily saved by the keeper. Bright start for the 1998 champions!

Jun 16, 2018 3:31 pm (IST)

Kick-off: Australia have started the match and we are underway in Kazan. A typical David vs Goliath match this as France are one of the favourites for the title while as for Australia, noone has even given them a chance to qualify into the next stage.

Jun 16, 2018 3:24 pm (IST)

The players are now making their way out of the tunnel and they will now stand in the middle for their respective national anthems. It is bright sunny day in Kazan and the fans inside the stadium will make it a cracking contest to say the least.

Jun 16, 2018 3:17 pm (IST)
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FIFA World Cup 2018, France vs Australia, Highlights: France Trounce Australia 2-1
(Reuters Image)

That France will start as clear favourites is down to the superior quality running throughout Didier Deschamps's 23-man squad but in particular in the forward quartet of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud. While Deschamps was giving nothing away on Friday, only three will start with Griezmann's form making him almost certain to lead the line and the experienced Giroud perhaps the player to miss out. If the coach had any doubts about the wisdom of playing a 19-year-old, Mbappe, and a 21-year-old, Dembele, when making a good start at the World Cup is so important, he was not betraying them on Friday. "If I have selected them, it's because I think they are good enough," he said of the younger players in his squad. It is not risk-taking. They are here because they have the quality to be here." Deschamps was equally sanguine about the prospect of Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele tripping over each other as they all try to attack down the same "funnel".

In defence, full back Djibril Sidibe might still be with the squad but his knee injury means he is highly unlikely to play with Benjamin Pavard stepping up to occupy the right flank outside Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti. The key for Australia is to have enough in defence to stop the French running riot, while also retaining enough offensive capability to give themselves at least some chance of scoring. Coach Bert van Marwijk immediately switched to a back four from the three-man defence favoured by his predecessor Ange Postecoglou when he took over in March and has forged a side that looks more compact. Although he refused point blank to discuss tactics on Friday, his limited time in charge could make him more likely to stick to the team that he sent out in friendlies against the Czech Republic and Hungary. That would be bad news for regular captain Mile Jedinak, who started neither game and was absent from the pre-match news conference on Friday. Australia's problems with finding the net are amply illustrated by the fact that Jedinak, a holding midfielder, is the squad's second highest scorer behind 38-year-old Tim Cahill. Having the more attack-minded Massimo Luongo joining Aaron Mooy at the heart of a five-man midfield, though, might just give the Asian champions the balance Van Marwijk wants between protecting the defence and providing a springboard for attack.
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