France were the beneficiaries of the first penalty award by VAR in World Cup history in their Group A opener against Australia – and the drama didn’t stop there.
Antoine Griezmann went down in the box under a challenge from Josh Ridson and play initially continued in Kazan. But the team of VAR officials had a look at the incident and decided after multiple replays that Griezmann had indeed been fouled.
Griezmann stepped up to slam the spot-kick home – and establish another little bit of Les Bleus history after Karim Benzema became the first player to have a goal awarded by goal-line technology in 2014.
There were a few cheeky references to Griezmann’s appalling ‘La Decision’ video earlier this week – and no consensus on whether the decision was correct. Showing that VAR remains a grey area.
Remarkably, a previously terrible game exploded into life when Australia promptly went down the other end and won a penalty of their own – scored by Mile Jedinak.
The villain of the piece was Samuel Umtiti, who inexplicably handled in his own box to no real benefit.