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.