It was only a pipe-dream six months ago but Daniel Arzani’s path to the 2018 FIFA World Cup came full circle on Saturday night as the competition’s youngest player appeared off the bench against France in Kazan.
Arzani came on after 84 minutes with his side looking for a creative outlet back into the match after going down to the French 2-1.
Despite not finding an avenue back into the contest, Arzani’s ten minute cameo added an element of flare to the side as the Socceroos looked to salvage a point from a tight opening round affair against the French.
Former City stars Aaron Mooy and Aziz Behich started in the contest that saw the Socceroos hold their own against one of the tournament favourites, going into the break all square.
VAR reared its ugly head once again as Josh Risdon appeared to have brought down Antoine Griezmann in the area after 56 minutes, with the Atletico Madrid striker making no mistake from the spot.
Mooy’s set piece prowess came to the fore six minutes later as his vicious ball into the area forced Samuel Umtiti to handle the ball in the penalty area, seeing captain Mile Jedinak convert from 11 yards.
Relief would come for the French after 81 minutes as a sharp combination in the final third saw Paul Pogba’s deflected effort hit the cross bar and cross the line by centimetres as the French secured the first three point haul of the group.
Up next for Arzani and the Socceroos is Denmark in what is shaping up to be a do-or-die match for the Aussies if they are to qualify for the next round. Don’t forget, you can see all the World Cup action at the Imperial on Bourke Street. Join us there on Thursday night at 10pm for plenty of City prizes and giveaways!