FPJ's Dream XI predictions for France and Australia

France striker Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann leads France's exciting attack

"I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and in that moment, that he wouldn't go to the video screen", the Dutchman said.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was used for the first time in World Cup history when France were awarded a penalty after Antoine Griezmann was brought down in the box by Joshua Risdon in the 58th minute.

Les Bleus came into the contest with a great deal of firepower, but their much-vaunted frontline of Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele struggled to break down an obstinate Australian defense in the opening 45 minutes. Sainsbury, in particular, made some important interceptions, notably in the 29th minute when he nicked the ball off Griezmann's feet just as the Atletico man was about to pull the trigger from 10 yards out.

On paper, they are paupers to France's footballing royalty, have little firepower up front and their modest defence faces a huge task to fend off their opponents' raids.

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Referee Andres Cunha from Uruguay did not award a spot-kick but after viewing the VAR footage, ruled it was a penalty and Griezmann gave France a 1-0 lead.

French coach Didier Deschamps said: "It was a highly hard match, it was complicated, the Australian team was very good".

One of Aaron Mooy's ever-dangerous free kicks drew a brain fade from French defender Samuel Umtiti as he clearly lifted his hand to punch away the ball.

Pogba's deflected shot towards goal cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out into Mat Ryan's arms, but Cunha's watch buzzed to indicate the ball had crossed the line and France held on to secure a 2-1 win.

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"No-one expected we could play like this against France but I think there were a lot of moments when they didn't know what to do anymore so that's a big compliment for us". "Then they got the goal, we gave it a go but it was not enough". Surprisingly, the 1998 World Cup-winning captain opted to start with a relatively defensive-minded Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard at the fullback positions ahead of the more attacking Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe.

Australia captain Mile Jedinak put on a courageous face but admitted the frustration was palpable a day after the Socceroos' World Cup campaign was compounded by a historic but controversial VAR decision. "I think we lacked some speed in the passes, and we did not push forward or move backward very quickly".

The players of France, they said it themselves. Mile Jedinak stroked it in confidently to earn a deserved equaliser.

Racism has dogged the Russian game for decades and FIFA last month fined the national football association over chants directed at black players during a friendly against France.

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Meanwhile, the market was also weighing a surprise drop in U.S. crude stocks figures, which is typically bullish for the market. OPEC ministers meet June 22 for a regular meeting to consider what happens next with their effort to stabilize the market.

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