France were awarded the first ever penalty by VAR at the 2018 World Cup against Australia, but there remains serious doubts over whether it should have been given with the player responsible claiming he did get a touch of the ball.
Socceroos defender Josh Risdon lunged for the ball in Australia’s penalty box early in the second half, bringing down Antoine Griezmann in the process with a VAR review deciding Risdon failed to make contact with the ball.
The resulting spot kick was clinically dispatched by Griezmann but as debate rages online as to whether the penalty should have been given, Risdon revealed to teammate Mat Ryan that the VAR did get it wrong.
“Speaking to Josh afterwards he said he touched the ball himself, and I don’t think he’s a liar or anything like that,” Ryan said post-match.
“On the replays I have seen it didn’t look conclusive.
“I feel hard done by. I feel like we were beaten by a better team and almost by technology a little bit.
“I don’t want to cause more controversy or anything like that and I’m not here to make excuses, but there’s a lot of grey areas nowadays in that area of the game.”
Despite that setback, Australia responded less than five minutes after the incident, themselves from the penalty spot, as Mile Jedinak brought the Socceroos level after a Samuel Umtiti handball.
A shock win or even surprise draw was however taken from their grasp by Paul Pogba, who finished off a fine team move to secure a 2-1 victory.
While France’s win is now cast in controversy, Ryan refused to hide behind the nature of the defeat and instead looked for positives after a strong Socceroos performance.
“Not here to make excuses,” he said.
“Nothing but proud of our team today and our performance.
“We can take enormous confidence from today’s performance.”
Australia will next take on Denmark on June 21, while France will play Peru.
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