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VAR used for first time in World Cup match

VAR used for first time in World Cup match

There was a moment of history at Russia 2018 on Saturday (Jun 16) as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used for the first time to reverse a decision in a World Cup match.

With France's Group C match against Australia deadlocked, Paul Pogba threaded a pinpoint pass to Antoine Griezmann, who went down in the box following Joshua Risdon's challenge. Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha initially waved away Griezmann's protests and play went on ... until VAR took center stage.

After reviewing the footage pitchside for little more than 30 seconds, Cunha overturned his original decision and awarded France a penalty, much to the fury of the Australian players. Up stepped Griezmann to confidently tuck the penalty into the corner.

It wasn't the final say technology would have in this game. Australia equalized through Mile Jedinak with a penalty of their own following Samuel Umtiti's inexplicable decision to handle a cross, but soon afterwards it was the turn of goal-line technology to steal the show.

In Brazil four years ago, France became the first team in World Cup history to be awarded a goal using goal-line technology and they again had it to thank in Russia.

Pogba's deflected shot towards goal cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out into Mat Ryan's arms, but Cunha's watch buzzed to indicate the ball had crossed the line and France held on to secure a 2-1 win.

At the World Cup, VAR technology is only used to correct "clear and obvious mistakes" -- to allow or disallow goals, award or deny penalties, show or rescind red cards, or correct instances of mistaken identity when a referee disciplines the wrong player.