France 2-1 Australia: 5 things we learned as VAR writes headlines

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

World Cup Group C got underway in Sochi on Saturday morning as France looked to demonstrate just why they are being so widely tipped for a long run at this year's finals.

Australia's Socceroos stood in the way of the French, as Bert van Marwijk selected a side who looked comfortable with the ball at their feet, despite possessing limited attacking options.

A drab first half ended goalless until contentious decisions flooded a second half full of action. A VAR awarded penalty gifted Antoine Griezmann and France the opening goal inside 58 minutes, with Australia drawing level just four minutes later thanks to a bizarre handball from Samuel Umtiti. 

Mile Jedinak converted the subsequent penalty as the game sprung to life. 

The 80th-minute proved decisive in the fixture. Paul Pogba latched onto a through ball from Olivier Giroud, lifting the ball against the underside of the bar, crossing the line with millimetres to spare. On closer inspection, Aziz Behich appeared to get the final touch on the ball to add to Australia's World Cup woes.

France took all three points and Australia were left reeling in a competitive Group C.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

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