Paul Pogba scores late victor as France edge plucky Socceroos

Griezmann and Pogba

Fear of failure motivating France stars against Australia

France coach Didier Deschamps made a double change as Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir came on for Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, Australia replacing Tom Rogic with fellow midfielder Jackson Irvine soon afterwards.

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak sent his French counterpart Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to give Australia hope of forcing a draw at the Kazan Arena only for Pogba to grab the victor in the 81 minute. A challenge by Josh Risdon on Antoine Griezmann was ruled as a clean one by the Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha before it was referred to the VAR. I'm just preparing as best I can on and off the pitch, in training and making sure I do everything right.

Mile Jedinak equalised barely minutes after Antoine Griezmann's second-half penalty to have the Socceroos fighting at 1-1 with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Pogba's run into the penalty area was halted by Aziz Behich but the defender could only divert the ball over the head of Ryan and the Bursapor player watched on as his intervention struck the underside of the crossbar and went inches over the line.

The body language (seemed to suggest) was that he didn't know, from my position.

"His [Cunha] first decision was play on and I think unless it's really, really clear, he should leave the decision as it was", Leckie told The New Daily. Just after I got up, it was hurting a bit. The VAR can interpret goals, the referee makes the final decision, it's really up to him.

"The way we wanted to play, they [Australian players] did it for 95 percent, so I cannot blame any of my players, I only can give them compliments".

"It was nothing to do with the fact we have a lot of young players", said Deschamps in defence of a squad which, after Nigeria, is the youngest at the World Cup.

It was a much different story after the break, with Les Bleus determined to make up for their lackadaisical opening stanza.

The Barcelona centre-back inexplicably jutted out a hand to steer a Aaron Mooy's deep cross away from the six-yard box, thus generously affording Australia a penalty of their very own...

Australia's campaign begun with a 2-1 loss in Kazan.

Also on day three at the Cup, Lionel Messi missed a penalty as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw against Iceland in Moscow, Alfred Finnbogason cancelling out Sergio Aguero's brilliant opener.

The result makes it hard for Australia to get out of the group stage, with matches to come against Denmark on Thursday and Peru the following Tuesday.

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