FULL-TIME, France 2-1 Australia: France did not deserve this win. Not at all. But this isn’t club football, so the three points are all that matter for now in this group stage.
GOAL! France 2-1 Australia (Pogba 80’): The craziness continues! Another bizarre play as Behich tries to clear the ball before Pogba gets there but ends up knocking it into his own net, with the ball hitting the crossbar before going in just to add a little more drama. THIS GAME IS DRUNK.
GOAL! France 1-1 Australia (Jedinak 61’): This game is crazy all of a sudden! Just four minutes after France’s opener, Samuel Umtiti inexplicably raises his arm and hits the ball inside the box for a clear penalty. Mile Jedinak has no trouble scoring from the spot and Australia are right back in the game!
GOAL! France 1-0 Australia (Griezmann 57’): It’s a VAR goal! Antoine Griezmann was clearly fouled inside the box but the referee ignored it at first. HOWEVER! The Video Assistant Referee was in effect and the penalty was given. Griezmann easily scores and gives France the lead early in the second half.
HALFTIME, France 0-0 Australia: This has been a poor 45 minutes of football, and that’s a lot due to Australia’s resilience in defense. They’ve been very organized and have frustrated the Frenchmen who are having trouble finding spaces. Dembélé has been the best of the France attack, and it really seems like the moment of brilliance to unlock the Socceroos’ backline will come from him.
KICKOFF! France 0-0 Australia: Let’s do this, Sammy and Ous!
Starting XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Lucas; Tolisso, Kanté, Pogba; Mbappé, Griezmann, Dembélé
Substitutes: Mandanda, Areola, Kimpembé, Rami, Sidibé, Mendy, N’Zonzi, Matuidi, Lemar, Thauvin, Fekir, Giroud
Starting XI: Ryan; Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich; Jedinak, Mooy; Leckie, Rogic, Kruse; Nabbout
Substitutes: Jones, Vukovic, Degenek, Meredith, Cahill, Jurman, Luongo, Juric, MacLaren, Arzani, Petratos, Irvine
We start in Kazan, with Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé among the hopes for France as they begin their World Cup journey against Australia. Sammy is the best defender in the French team, and while Dembélé isn’t a starter he will be counted on as a key substitute throughout the tournament.
Australia don’t offer much of a quality opposition, but they do have their national hero Tim Cahill looking to score more World Cup headers at the age of 38. This will be a very good way to start the day and lead us to the debut of Argentina and Lionel Messi, so get ready for Leo by watching France with us! IT’S LIVE BLOG TIME!
Note: As always, the comments will be open after the team news are officially out, about an hour before the game. Join us then!
Date/Time: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 12pm CET (Barcelona), 11am BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 6am EST, 3am PST (USA), 3.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM WORLD CUP
How to watch on TV: Fox Sports 1 (USA), BBC One (UK), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), TSN1 (Canada), Sony ESPN (India), others
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, no swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do will be warned, and those who post links will be banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another, especially when it’s the World Cup.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!