Image Credits – FIFA
The opening game of the battles in Group C was between the teams of Australia and France. France that is being counted as one of the favorites for the World Cup title almost collapsed against one of the outsiders at the tournament in Russia. In this game, France showed that the team is far away from dreaming about the title. The only hope of the French fans could be in the fact that potentially the young squad of the Europeans was shocked by their first minutes at the World Cup. The game started off as expected and France had few chances that were missed by their forwards. After the first half of the first period the Australians slowly started to gain confidence and not surprisingly the half finished as a draw (0-0). We must note that the best chance for a goal was missed by Australia after a set piece close to the French goal. After this cross, Corient Tolisso almost conceived an own goal, but Hugo Lloris kept his clean sheet.
The second half started even slower than the end of the first half. When the fans of the game were almost about to fall asleep after a counter-attack for France Antoine Griezmann won a penalty that was assigned mainly because of the help from the VAR system. This was a historical moment in which for a first time a VAR system was used in the history of the World Cups. The penalty was converted into a goal by Griezmann (58’) who except scoring this penalty was just not present on the field.
Credits – Instagram
When France took the lead and everyone was expecting that this would be the end of the drama in this game, Samuel Umtiti did a huge mistake by hitting the ball with his hand in the penalty field of France. The Australian cross was not going to present danger to Hugo Lloris, but for some reason, the defender of Barcelona decided to touch the ball with a hand and this led to a penalty for Australia. The captain of the team Mile Jedinak (62’) easily scored a goal and made the score even (1-1).
The game after the goal of Australia continued in the same low tempo as before the two goals. Matter of fact, in the last few minutes of the game Australia was playing really good and if the team had more class they could have used some of their chances during the counter-attacks which they had. In the 81st minute, Paul Pogba scored a lucky goal that was registered only because of the help of the Goal-Line technology and the Goal-Line watch of the referee which vibrated and showed that the ball fully went behind the goal line of the Australians. In the final 10 minutes, there was one more chance in front of France which was once again aristocratically missed by the French offense. The bitter taste for the French fans happened in the extra time of the game when France surprisingly was trying to lose time in order to secure the win against the pre-determine outsider of the group Australia. Regardless of the bad performance of France, the Europeans won the three points and now the fans will be hoping that this was just a one-time bad performance that will not be repeated in the next stages. One thing is sure, if France continues to play in the same way there will be no chance for them to win the 2018 FIFA World cup trophy.