A well organised Socceroos squad fought hard but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat in a match that featured a VAR penalty awarded to Antoine Greizmann, Mile Jedinak penalty and Paul Pogba crossbar goal.
The Socceroos set up with great structure. Captain Mile Jedinak held the midfield alongside the anchoring Aaron Mooy. France attacked in the first half whilst sitting off Australia with opportunities through the channels often being cut off on the final ball by Australian defenders. Kylian Mbappe and Greizmann looked dangerous in the final third.
The game came alive in the second half as France pressed higher for the initial goal and there wasn't long to wait. As France pulled the Socceroos out of shape in midfield, a clever Greizmann run cut out the Oz defense. Josh Risdon slid in clipping Griezmann in the box and sending the French playmaker down. The referee initially waved the play on but soon a clunky VAR decision led to a Griezmann penalty goal.
The Socceroos responded immediately looking to attack down the wings when a dangerous far post cross was handballed in the area by France’s Umtiti, with another penalty awarded. Captain Mile Jedinak stepped up to bury the ball passed Hugo Lloris to the cheers of Socceroos fans.
As France pushed for the winner pressing high up the pitch the winner looked inevitable as Pogba broke through the middle and chipped Matt Ryan as the ball bounced off the crossbar and over the line.
The Socceroos held their trademark spirit and fire but ultimately the talent of France was enough to see it through for the win. Australia face Denmark in their second clash on Thursday and this showing against a strong French side gives hope.
Keep cheering on the Socceroos all!