The France vs Australia game certainly turned out to be an extraordinary one, maybe not in terms of the technical aspect of the game but surely filled with numerous talking points. Not many could have predicted such a tough road to victory for France before the start of the game, but credits to Australia, they made sure Hugo Llrois and company had to put in all the efforts to earn the 3 points.
Now let’s talk about the 5 things we observed from the game.
1. STUBBORN AUSSIE DEFENCE
Well, for those who did watch the game, the scoreline might seem a bit harsh on the Aussie backline. The defensive line of Risdan, Milligan, Sainsbury and Behich did a remarkable job throughout the course of the game. The determination of the Socceroos defence was such that they didn’t let France take a single shot from the 8th minute of the game to the end of the first half. However, the tables turned in the second half and France did manage to get 2 goals past Ryan in goal. Regardless of the 2 goals, it’s hard to ignore the immaculate shift put in by the Aussies. In their blood maybe.
2. THE BRIGHT SIDE OF TECHNOLOGY.
The game made sure all the available technology was put into use. First the VAR and thereafter the goal line technology. A good day for the supporters of technology in sport. The VAR was put into “productive” use for the first time in world cup after Griezmann was brought down in the box, initially the referee ruled out the penalty but the technology soon intervened for the betterment of the French side. Later the goal line technology was put into use as Paul Pogba won all 3 points for Les Bleus.
3. A TALE OF 2 HALVES.
The first half and the second half turned out to be the totally opposite of each other. The magnitude of dullness of the first half can easily be put in equality with the excitement the second half possessed. The first half hardly had any noticeable action but the second half had it all. A controversial penalty, then a quick comeback and then the match winner. All stitched together in perfection.
However, the number of fouls by both sides, 35 to be precise. 16 from France and 19 from Australia stood as a bit of a bothering stat.
4. INEFFICIENT MIDFIELD DISPLAY BY FRANCE.
Barring Paul Pogba, who was occasionally involved in the build-up play, the French midfield hardly looked like having any appreciable impact on the game. The possible remedy to this looks like the replacement of Tolisso by Nzonzi or Blaise Matuidi and switching to an orthodox 4-2-3-1. This will help in freeing up Pogba who did come up with few delightful passes occasionally.
The full backs too, namely, Pavard and Hernandez had a relatively quiet game. More involvement from the Full Backs on the attacking front in the later stages of the tournament will surely turn out to be a necessity for the French side.
5. THE BOTTOM LINE.
Not the most convincing victory the French side have come up with in the recent times, but at the end of the day, a win is a win. However, looking at the game one cannot think of France as the outright favourites to make it big this year regardless of the strength the side possesses on paper. A lot to correct for Didier Deschamps. An inexperienced front-line, an inefficient midfield and relatively quiet full backs. Les Bleus will be hoping to tick all the boxes before they get into the knockout stages.