KAZAN: Technology guided France safely over the 1998 World Cup winners’ first hurdle in Russia by seeing off Australia 2-1 with one goal thanks to the video assistance and one courtesy of goal-line technology.

The youngest French outfit since the inaugural finals in 1930 – at 24 years 196 days – set off with great intent but after 20 frustrating, goalless minutes they lost focus against the disciplined Socceroos.

Kilian Mbappe, Paul Pogna and Antoine Griezmann all saw early efforts foiled by keeper Mat Ryan and Australia almost snatched a goal in a 17th-minute break when Hugo Lloris dived left to push away a deflected free kick.

France took the lead 11 minutes into the second half when Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty awarded after Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha sought a pitchside video replay after the striker was tripped by Josh Risdon.

Four minutes seven seconds later Australia were level through a penalty of their own. Samuel Umtiti bizarrely threw up a hand at a free kick from Aaron Mooy captain Mile Jedinak rolld the ball gently to the left of the wrong-footed Lloris.

It was the shortest gap between different sides converting two penalties in a World Cup match and meant France have still managed only one clean sheet in their last seven games, against Republic of Ireland in May.

Les Bleus duly adopted a more direct approach by introducing Olivier Giroud in attack and were rewarded with an 81st-minute winner.

Midfielder Paul Pogba finished an interpassing move with a shot which deflected off Australia full-back Aziz Behich, hit the underside of the bar and ricocheted down behind the goal-line. Australia sought to play on as the ball bounced back into play but goal-line technology had signalled the goal for referee Cunha.