Le Bleus edge Socceroos, 2-1, in Group C
MOSCOW — Midfielder Paul Pogba scored a late winner to help France to a 2-1 win against Australia in their World Cup opening game in Group C on Saturday.
Pogba was unimpressive until the 81st minute at the Kazan Arena, when he set up a fine one-two with substitute Olivier Giroud to beat Australia `keeper Mat Ryan with a shot that took a deflection, hit the bar and crossed the goal line.
After a balanced first half, France was awarded a penalty following a VAR review, the first of the World Cup, and scored to take the lead in the 58th minute. After checking images of a tackle from behind by Joshua Risdon on Antoine Griezmann, referee Andres Cunha pointed to the penalty spot. Griezmann sent a powerful strike into the net that left `keeper Ryan stranded.
Australia equalized within four minutes with captain Mile Jedinak converting from the penalty spot after Samuel Umtiti handled the ball in the box.
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