History made as VAR used for first time in World Cup match

Updated 2:23 PM EDT, Sat June 16, 2018
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 12:  WM FRANCE 98, FINALE Paris; BRASILIEN - FRANKREICH 0:3 (BRA - FRA); FRANKREICH FUSSBALLWELTMEISTER 1998; JUBEL FRA TEAM - Bixente LIZARAZU, Frank LEBOEUF, Thierry HENRY, Lilian THURAM, Zinedine ZIDANE, DIOMEDE, Didier DESCHAMPS, PIRES, Marcel DESAILLY, Laurent BLANC  (Photo by Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 12: WM FRANCE 98, FINALE Paris; BRASILIEN - FRANKREICH 0:3 (BRA - FRA); FRANKREICH FUSSBALLWELTMEISTER 1998; JUBEL FRA TEAM - Bixente LIZARAZU, Frank LEBOEUF, Thierry HENRY, Lilian THURAM, Zinedine ZIDANE, DIOMEDE, Didier DESCHAMPS, PIRES, Marcel DESAILLY, Laurent BLANC (Photo by Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial warms up for the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage in London on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth  at Old Trafford on July 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Pool via Getty Images)
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Paolo ROSSI. Italy, born 23rd September 1956. In 1982 the World Cup was hosted by Spain. The final was played on 11th July in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. Attendance: 90,000. Result Italy 3 -- 1 West Germany. Rossi scores Italy's first goal in the 57th minute. Photographed on his vineyard in Tuscany, 31/08/09.




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Paolo ROSSI. Italy, born 23rd September 1956. In 1982 the World Cup was hosted by Spain. The final was played on 11th July in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. Attendance: 90,000. Result Italy 3 -- 1 West Germany. Rossi scores Italy's first goal in the 57th minute. Photographed on his vineyard in Tuscany, 31/08/09. EXCLUSIVE TEXT ACCOMPANIES / AVAILABLE FOR THIS PORTRAIT. © Michael Donald / eyevine Contact eyevine for more information about using this image: T: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709 E: info@eyevine.com http:///www.eyevine.com
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PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan (in yellow) talks to Istanbul Basaksehir's staff members during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on December 8, 2020. - Paris Saint-Germain's decisive Champions League game with Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended today in the first half as the players walked off amid allegations of racism by one of the match officials. The row erupted after Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo, the former Cameroon international, was shown a red card during a fierce row on the touchline with staff from the Turkish club appearing to accuse the Romanian fourth official of using a racist term. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
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Story highlights

France 2-1 Australia

VAR used for first time in World Cup

Referee overturns controversial decision

Peru 0-1 Denmark

(CNN) —  

There was a moment of history at Russia 2018 on Saturday as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used for the first time to reverse a decision in a World Cup match.

With France’s Group C match against Australia deadlocked, Paul Pogba threaded a pinpoint pass to Antoine Griezmann, who went down in the box following Joshua Risdon’s challenge.

Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha initially waved away Griezmann’s protests and play went on … until VAR took center stage.

After reviewing the footage pitchside for little more than 30 seconds, Cunha overturned his original decision and awarded France a penalty, much to the fury of the Australian players.

The VAR decision appears on the big screen inside the Kazan Arena.
PHOTO: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The VAR decision appears on the big screen inside the Kazan Arena.

Up stepped Griezmann to confidently tuck the controversial penalty into the corner.

It wasn’t the final say technology would have in this game.

Australia equalized through Mile Jedinak with a penalty of their own following Samuel Umtiti’s inexplicable decision to handle a cross, but soon afterwards it was the turn of goal-line technology to steal the show.

In Brazil four years ago, France became the first team in World Cup history to be awarded a goal using goal-line technology and they again had it to thank in Russia.

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.

Paul Pogba celebrates his winning goal against Australia.
PHOTO: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Paul Pogba celebrates his winning goal against Australia.

READ: Will there be redemption for Mat Ryan and Australia at Russia 2018?

READ: France’s ‘Rainbow Team’ look back at historic World Cup triumph

At the World Cup, VAR technology is only used to correct “clear and obvious mistakes” – to allow or disallow goals, award or deny penalties, show or rescind red cards, or correct instances of mistaken identity when a referee disciplines the wrong player.

Emulating the class of 1998

The man sat in France’s dugout knows a thing or two about winning a World Cup.

Deschamps, the captain and leader of France’s victorious 1998 “Rainbow team,” has again been given the responsibility of bringing football’s greatest prize back to France.

Antoine Griezmann celebrates his opening goal.
PHOTO: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Antoine Griezmann celebrates his opening goal.

Despite his place in French football folklore, Deschamps’ position at the helm of the national team doesn’t come without pressure.

Leading arguably the most gifted generation of French footballers since that class of 1998, Russia 2018 may be Deschamp’s final chance to win a major trophy as manager after the crushing Euro 2016 final defeat on home soil.

“In Didier Deschamps we have got a manager who was in the dressing room in 1998,” Griezmann told reporters before the game. “He was even the captain, so he’ll take us to the right path.

“It makes you want to copy it and bring this World Cup back to France. That is the dream.”

Antoine Griezmann celebrates with France coach Didier Deschamps at the final whistle.
PHOTO: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Antoine Griezmann celebrates with France coach Didier Deschamps at the final whistle.

There were early warning signs that this could be a walk in the park for France in Kazan – and a long afternoon for Australia – as Benjamin Pavard released Kylian Mbappe, who brought a sharp early save from Ryan.

The Socceroos goalkeeper was by far the busiest player on the pitch in the opening five minutes, stopping a Pogba free-kick, before getting down well to save a long distance strike from Griezmann.

But after 15 minutes of solid defending, Australia grew into the game and conjured up the best chance so far.

Aaron Mooy’s free-kick into the box was inadvertently prodded towards his own goal by Corentin Tolisso, but his blushes were spared by captain Hugo Lloris who made brilliant, low save.

After what proved to be an even first half, the controversy began 10 minutes into the second.

First came that VAR decision and then Hawk-Eye confirmed France’s second goal as Australia were floored by football’s use of technology

The Socceroos will undoubtedly leave frustrated having come away with nothing after performing so well, but know easier tests lie ahead in Peru and Denmark, who face each other in Group C’s second match.