Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

2 Comments

The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.

Two pens and Pogba: France nips Australia as VAR debuts

AP Photo/David Vincent
Leave a comment
  • France goals: Griezmann (58′), Pogba (80′)
  • Australia goal: Jedinak (62′)
  • Next: Australia-Denmark, France-Peru

Two penalties and an own goal was not how France and Australia wanted their World Cup openers to go, but Les Bleus will take the 2-1 result on Saturday in Kazan.

Aziz Behich’s possible own goal was prodded by Paul Pogba, while Antoine Griezmann scored a PK awarded via Video Assistant Referee and Australia’s Mile Jedinak also buried a penalty.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Australia came close to a surprise lead off a 19th minute free kick, as Hugo Lloris had to act quickly to slap Corentin Tolisso’s potential own goal away from the France frame.

The first half hour largely belonged to France despite the Socceroos clear desire to disrupt the flow of the match with physical play.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

It didn’t take long into the second half for the World Cup to turn in its VAR card, with Antoine Griezmann’s controversially-won penalty given via video.

What do you think?

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

The Socceroos earned their chance to level when Aaron Mooy‘s free kick was handled by Samuel Umtiti in the box.

Jedinak’s converted penalty was Australia’s first shot on target of the match, and came from a player who was questionable to participate in the opener thanks to an injury.

The video helped Pogba prod the winning, or losing, goal out of Behich with the ball turning off the cross bar and just crossing the line with 10 minutes to play.

Aston Villa win away to Boro, take first step toward PL return

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Aston Villa took one giant step forward on Saturday, their 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough moving Steve Bruce‘s side miles closer to a return to the Premier League after two seasons in the Championship.

[ MORE: Derby top Fulham at home, take 1-0 lead into second leg ]

Saturday’s clash at the Riverside Stadium was only the first leg of the semifinals of the promotion playoffs, sure, but it was a colossal result for Villa who hold a 1-0 halftime lead ahead of Tuesday’s second leg back at Villa Park. Away goals are not used in the Championship’s promotion playoffs.

Mile Jedinak scored the game’s only goal (assisted by Jack Grealish), a header in the 15th minute, as Bruce works toward winning the fifth top-flight promotion of his 20-year managerial career.

[ MORE: Neymar told PSG teammates he won’t be back next season ]

Bruce, who endured and persevered through the passing of his father in February followed by that of his mother earlier this month, felt his side handled the pressure of the playoffs tremendously well after they dropped five points from their final two games of the regular season.

“We’re pleased,” he said after the game. “We’ve given ourselves a little advantage, although we’re only winning 1-0 at halftime and strange things can happen. But we’ve handled the pressure of a big game here very well.”

Australia beat Honduras, qualify for 2018 World Cup

Getty Images
Leave a comment

“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie… Oi, Oi, Oi!”

Australia have qualified for the 2018 World Cup with the Socceroos beating Honduras 3-1 in the second leg of their inter-confederation playoff in Sydney on Wednesday.

Qualification marks the fourth-consecutive World Cup tournament for Australia and just the fifth in their history.

Locked at 0-0 from the first leg in San Pedro Sula last week, Australia’s captain stepped up big time with Mile Jedinak scoring a second half hat trick via a deflected free kick and two penalty kicks.

Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis scored with the last kick of the game for Honduras but the CONCACAF side were deservedly beaten by Australia in front of 76,080 fans at Stadium Australia.

Remember, Australia finished out of the automatic spots in Asian qualifying and just to get to this playoff against Honduras they had to play a two-legged playoff against Syria, which they won in extra time in the second leg.

Ange Postecoglou’s men did it the hard way, but they’re in.

As “Down Under” from Men At Work blasted over the sound system at the final whistle and fireworks flew over Sydney Harbor, it’s quite clear what qualification meant to Australia and the party in Oz will go on for some time.

Below are videos of Jedinak’s goals as Tim Cahill will be heading to his fourth World Cup tournament and a dogged Australia side will be the team from Pot 3 that nobody wants to face.


Jedinak gave Australia the lead as his free kick deflected off Henry Figueroa

2-0 to Australia after a handball was called against Bryan Acosta

Jedinak makes it 3-0 after a lunging tackle from Johnny Palacios brought down Robbie Kruse

Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford: Deeney adds to Eagles miserable run

Leave a comment
  • Palace has lost 6 of 7
  • Deeney braces move Watford eighth
  • Adebayor scores for Eagles

Troy Deeney won and converted a PK, then scored a late winner as Watford took all three points from Selhurst Park in a 2-1 win on Saturday

Palace’s 2016 struggles continued, with Emmanuel Adebayor‘s equalizer going for naught. The Eagles now have one point in seven matches and continue their free fall down the PL table.

Papa Souare took a late red for a hard tackle, to add insult to Palace’s injury.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It took just a quarter-hour for Watford to seize the lead, as Mile Jedinak wrapped up Deeney with both arms, and the Hornets captain tumbled in the box to earn a PK he’d finish to make it 1-0.

But Palace equalized just before halftime, working hard to keep a long throw in play before crossing for Adebayor to put a looping header past Heurelho Gomes.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Adebayor could’ve made it 2-1 if not for a sweeping single leg save from Gomes after a dangerous Wilfried Zaha sent a low ball through the six.

With Palace looking okay to pick up another needed point, Deeney was Johnny-on-the-spot to trap and belt home an ineffective header from Damien Delaney.