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FFA turmoil could harm the Matildas

Australia
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 By Rob Brooks

Australia must learn from World Cup mistakes, not blame technology

France scraped past a plucky Australia thanks to an 80th minute goal from Paul Pogba.
France scraped past a plucky Australia thanks to an 80th minute goal from Paul Pogba.
Mile Jedinak reflects on VAR's use in Australia's opener and the keys in order to contain Christian Eriksen's Denmark.
ESPN's Stephanie Brantz speaks to Australia fans who were quite positive despite their 2-1 defeat to France.
Alejandro Moreno says it will be difficult for Australia to reach the last 16 at the World Cup, but suggests they can create some chaos in Group C.
Frank Leboeuf joins the ESPN FC crew to talk about France's underwhelming display and what must be done to play to their potential.
Stephanie Brantz caught up with Julien Laurens after France squeezed past Australia with a 2-1 win.

In the wake of Australia's 2-1 defeat to France in their World Cup opener, headlines screamed of injustice after Les Bleus scored courtesy of a VAR penalty decision and a crazy deflection.

True enough, it was a resilient and largely disciplined performance from the Socceroos, but if Bert van Marwijk's men are to grow as unit in this tournament and those to come, there must be a deeper reaction than simply pointing blame at technology.

The decision to award hot favourites France a penalty after a...

Deschamps gets lucky as France beat Australia but piles on the pressure

Frank Leboeuf joins the ESPN FC crew to talk about France's underwhelming display and what must be done to play to their potential.
Alejandro Moreno says it will be difficult for Australia to reach the last 16 at the World Cup, but suggests they can create some chaos in Group C.

MOSCOW -- France did win vs. Australia, but Didier Deschamps lost.

Les Bleus got the three points they wanted with a 2-1 victory Saturday despite their manager getting pretty much everything wrong. Deschamps' ability to guide his very talented squad all the way through this World Cup had been questioned a lot before the start of the competition, and this is without a doubt the worst start he could have hoped for on a personal level.

Before facing the Socceroos, the pressure was on Deschamps...

VAR, goal-line technology drama bails out Deschamps in France's sloppy win

Frank Leboeuf joins the ESPN FC crew to talk about France's underwhelming display and what must be done to play to their potential.
Stephanie Brantz caught up with Julien Laurens after France squeezed past Australia with a 2-1 win.
ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik feels France's midfield lacks a true leader which could be detrimental to their World Cup hopes.
Janusz Michallik discusses the first VAR incidents of the World Cup following France's 2-1 win over Australia.
World Cup: Mile Jedinak (62') France 1-1 Australia
World Cup: Antoine Griezmann (58') France 1-0 Australia
Ian Fiveankles is subjected to some harsh VAR decisions for poor sandwich making and interjections. Can we expect more VAR controversy in Russia?

KAZAN -- Three quick points from France 2-1 Australia in Group C at the World Cup on Saturday.

1. History made as VAR rules World Cup

France began their World Cup campaign with a nervy, historic victory over Australia thanks to the first-ever penalty awarded by video assistant referee (VAR).

After Joshua Risdon's late tackle on Antoine Griezmann just before the hour mark, referee Andres Cunha decided to have a look at the video after initially not giving a penalty.

The Uruguayan referee then changed...

 By Rob Brooks

Action man Mooy impresses in Australia's valiant defeat to France

France scraped past a plucky Australia thanks to an 80th minute goal from Paul Pogba.
Alejandro Moreno says it will be difficult for Australia to reach the last 16 at the World Cup, but suggests they can create some chaos in Group C.
Stephanie Brantz caught up with Julien Laurens after France squeezed past Australia with a 2-1 win.
ESPN's Stephanie Brantz speaks to Australia fans who were quite positive despite their 2-1 defeat to France.
World Cup: Paul Pogba (81') France 2-1 Australia
World Cup: Mile Jedinak (62') France 1-1 Australia
World Cup: Antoine Griezmann (58') France 1-0 Australia

Australia played with grit and a relatively sound defensive structure against France, but it simply wasn't enough to overcome the disparity in ability and experience.

A 2-1 scoreline, though, keeps the Socceroos in contention to progress from the group stage if they can show a bit more appetite for attack against Group C opponents Peru and Denmark.

Positives

It was imperative Australia played with a solid foundation at the back, particularly in the opening exchanges of the game. An early goal would...

 By Rob Brooks

France should beware Atletico Madrid-lite Australia in World Cup opener

Australia's Andrew Nabbout hopes to repay Bert van Marwijk's faith in him, while Jackson Irvine wishes his grandfather a happy 80th ahead of their World Cup opener.

On Dec. 1 last year, when the Socceroos were drawn to play their World Cup opener against France, a slight sense of fear filled the hearts and minds of football fans across Australia.

At the time, the national side were without a head coach following the resignation of Ange Postecoglou only a week earlier, and the team had only scraped through qualification via the fourth round playoff in Asia followed by an inter-confederation playoff tie over two legs against Honduras. Australian football was...

 By Rob Brooks

Australia's World Cup starting line-up looks mostly settled after Hungary win

France will have one of the strongest squads at the 2018 World Cup. Here's why.
Can Australia make an impact at Russia 2018 under new coach Bert van Marwijk? Here's a look at how the Socceroos shape up.
The FC crew explain why Australia's outlook at the World Cup is dreary after being drawn with France, Peru and Denmark.

Australia will head to the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the back of two consecutive wins after defeating Hungary 2-1 in Budapest on Saturday.

Though this result -- along with their 4-0 drubbing of the Czech Republic a week prior -- brings with it a degree of confidence, the Socceroos' performance also raised a number of fascinating questions in the lead-up to the clash with France on June 16.

Most importantly, Bert van Marwijk will have a few critical personnel decisions to make over the next six...