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16th Jun 2018

Everyone’s saying the same thing about Samuel Umtiti’s handball against Australia

It's a fair point...

Simon Lloyd

France have kicked off their World Cup with a hard-fought win in Kazan

Australia limited goalscoring opportunities during the first half of their Group C opener on Saturday, the score goalless at half-time.

With nearly an hour played, France finally did take a lead. Antoine Griezmann’s penalty appeals were initially waved away by the referee, only for him to change his mind after consulting VAR over Josh Risdon’s last-ditch challenge.

Griezmann converted the penalty, though Australia soon levelled through a spot kick of their own.

A cross into the French area was handled by Samuel Umtiti, who inexplicably raised his hand above his head to to make contact with the ball. Aston Villa’s Mile Jedinak converted the penalty, and the score remained 1-1 until an unfortunate own goal from Aziz Behich ten minutes from time.

It was a difficult defeat for Australia to take after such a resilient display.

Things may have panned out differently had the referee deemed Umtiti’s handball worthy of a red card as well as a penalty, something many watching seemed to think was the correct decision.