Australian defender Josh Risdon went for a last-ditch sliding tackle on Antoine Griezmann in the penalty area, and appeared to clip the ball before making slight contact with Griezmann's ankle. Roughly 15 seconds later, he went to the monitor.
On Friday night Spain's 3-3 draw with Portugal threw-up several moments of controversy but the match officials decided against turning to the technology. "We are very happy that we won a highly hard and complicated game", said Deschamps.
"Even with VAR everything is open still to interpretation".
Meanwhile, Mbappe made history at kick-off by becoming the youngest French player, at 19 and six months, to start a World Cup game. VAR was introduced in order to eliminate contentious decisions, but Australia could feel aggrieved that Cunha changed his mind, while France would have been furious had he not.
Goal-line technology also helped France win the match after Paul Pogba's 81st minute effort was ruled to have crossed the line.
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Pogba, whose victor was aided by goal-line technology after his strike clipped a defender and bounced off the underside of the bar, told TF1: "It is the World Cup - there are no small teams".
Antoine Griezmann scored from the penalty spot after Les Bleus were awarded a spot-kick through VAR, but Mile Jedinak levelled with a penalty for the Aussies after a Samuel Umtiti handball before Paul Pogba applied the finishing touches to a neat team move to confirm the triumph.
Coach Bert van Marwijk immediately switched to a back four from the three-man defense favored by his predecessor Ange Postecoglou when he took over in March and has forged a side that looks more compact.
"I got a lot of reactions, lets say from 10 people, seven say a penalty and three say no penalty".
Giroud made the decisive pass that led to Pogba's late victor, and Matuidi helped France recover the ball higher on the pitch and accelerate play with his neat one-touch football. I'm proud but disappointed.
"When you're well organised and you believe in something and everybody knows exactly from each other what to do and you have the guts to play and be yourself, then we have a chance".