Didier Deschamps: France can do a lot better

Didier Deschamps admits France can improve significantly after they scraped a controversial 2-1 victory against Australia in their World Cup opener.

Les Bleus benefited from the competition’s first use of video assistant referee technology when they were awarded a debatable second-half penalty, which was converted by Antoine Griezmann.

Uruguayan official Andres Cunha initially played on after Joshua Risdon’s challenge on Griezmann before pointing to the spot having consulted video replays at the side of the pitch.

Joshua Risdon

Australia’s Joshua Risdon was penalised for his sliding tackle on Antoine Griezmann (Hassan Ammar/AP)

Mile Jedinak quickly drew the Socceroos level with a penalty at the other end following Samuel Umtiti’s inexplicable handball, before goal-line technology was required for France’s late winner, claimed by Paul Pogba after a hefty deflection off Aziz Behich.

“It was not easy, but winning the first match is very important,” Deschamps told L’Equipe.

“It was complicated today with a team who gave us a hard time.

“It’s hard to explain everything. We missed a change of pace, a little juice.

“At the end of the match, we had a few more opportunities. It’s hard for everyone, apart from the first match of the Russians against Saudi Arabia (a 5-0 win).

“We did the job. But we can do better, do a lot better.”

Bert van Marwijk
Australia coach Bert van Marwijk led Holland to the 2010 World Cup final (Darko Bandic/AP)

Defender Behich appeared to get a toe on the ball when challenging Griezmann in the early stages of the second half before tripping the Atletico Madrid forward with his follow-through.

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said he did not want to speak about VAR following the Group C defeat and declared himself proud of his side’s performance.

The Dutchman took charge of the Socceroos for the first time in a competitive match and saw them come close to snatching an unlikely point from the 1998 world champions.

“Everybody is talking about the VAR but for me it’s the start and we have to learn a lot about this system but I prefer to say something about the game,” said Van Marwijk, according to socceroos.com.au.

“I cannot change that any more.”

Van Marwijk, who was appointed at the start of the year following the surprise resignation of Ange Postecoglou, added: “I’m proud but disappointed. I think we gave a very good performance.

“No one expected we could play like this against France but I think there were a lot of moments when (France) didn’t know what to do any more so that’s a big compliment for us.

“The way we wanted to play, they did it for 95 per cent so I can’t blame any players, I can only give them compliments. At least, we deserved a draw.

“When you see this game you must have confidence for the rest of the tournament but there is no guarantee.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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