Australia coach Bert van Marwijk unhappy at VAR controversy in defeat to France

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk hit out at referee Andres Cunha following the 2-1 World Cup defeat to France that saw VAR used for the first time.

Antoine Griezmann scored from the first VAR-assisted penalty awarded in the history of the World Cup to give France a 58th-minute lead in Kazan.

Although Australian captain Mile Jedinak levelled from the spot four minutes later following an intentional handball by Samuel Umtiti, goal-line technology was used in decisive fashion when Paul Pogba’s deflected shot crept over the line in the 81st minute.

Although hailing the “guts” of his Socceroos side, Van Marwijk – who coached the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final – could not hide his disappointment with Cunha.

“I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and in that moment, that he wouldn’t go to the video screen,” the Dutchman said after being asked his reaction to seeing Cunha rush to the touchline to consult footage of Josh Risdon’s foul on Griezmann.

“I saw him standing there. The body language was that he didn’t know, from my position.

“And then you have to take a decision – France or Australia. I got a lot of reactions, let’s say that out of 10 people seven said it was a penalty and three said no penalty.

“So I don’t know. I have to see it [the footage].”

The 65-year-old added: “It’s very difficult to decide when you have 50,000 people (in the stadium) on his back, he must decide.

“He was standing very close to the moment of the penalty, and he said directly, ‘Go [play] on’.

“He’s also a human being, and everyone makes mistakes.”

However, Van Marwijk had no bitter feelings towards France.

“I wish them all the luck, and I mean that,” he said.