Olivier Giroud joined Thierry Henry as France’s all-time main goalscorer with a brace as holders France recovered to beat Australia 4-1 and get their defence of the World Cup off to a successful begin Tuesday. Australia took a shock lead at Al Janoub Stadium with the sport simply 9 minutes previous when Craig Goodwin scored. France, whose build-up to the match was marred by accidents, noticed left-back Lucas Hernandez come off damage within the transfer that led to that purpose.
Nonetheless, they recovered to equalise by way of Adrien Rabiot earlier than Giroud put them forward with a straightforward end within the thirty second minute for his fiftieth worldwide purpose.
Kylian Mbappe obtained his title on the scoresheet within the second half and Giroud sealed the win to equal Henry’s file tally of 51 targets for France.
The win leaves them high of Group D after rivals Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0 in Doha earlier.
On the age of 36, veteran AC Milan striker Giroud, who has 115 caps, is the oldest participant to attain for France at a World Cup.
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But he nearly definitely wouldn’t have been enjoying right here had Karim Benzema been match.
As an alternative, the withdrawal of the Ballon d’Or winner with a thigh harm on the eve of the match has performed into the arms of Giroud, who was a key participant for coach Didier Deschamps in France’s triumphant 2018 World Cup marketing campaign however did not rating in Russia.
It’s not simply Benzema who’s lacking for Les Bleus, with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante — their beginning midfield duo 4 years in the past — additionally out of the match.
Centre-back Raphael Varane was not risked having not performed since struggling a leg harm enjoying for Manchester United a month in the past.
That meant Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate — with 9 caps between them — performed collectively in central defence whereas Rabiot joined Aurelien Tchouameni in midfield.
Hernandez harm blow
Australia surprised the world champions by scoring an early opener.
Mathew Leckie managed the ball on the fitting and escaped Lucas Hernandez earlier than delivering a low ball throughout the face of purpose for Goodwin to complete into the roof of the web.
Hernandez damage his proper knee making an attempt to cease Leckie, though there didn’t look like any contact between the gamers.
The Bayern Munich defender was helped off, along with his brother Theo approaching.
The youthful Hernandez didn’t have the very best introduction, giving the ball away and permitting Mitch Duke to hit a shot from vary that flew simply large.
But he performed a component within the Twenty seventh-minute equaliser — Antoine Griezmann’s right-wing nook was cleared however the ball got here to Hernandez on the left and his cross was headed in by Rabiot.
5 minutes later Rabiot was concerned once more as France went forward, hounding Nathaniel Atkinson out of possession on the French left and enjoying a one-two with Mbappe earlier than teeing up Giroud.
A Jackson Irvine header that hit the publish in first-half stoppage time was a reminder that Australia might nonetheless threaten, however France ran away with the sport after the break.
Griezmann had a shot cleared off the road simply earlier than Mbappe made it 3-1 halfway by way of the second half, as he headed in off a publish from Ousmane Dembele’s cross.
Mbappe then turned supplier as France obtained their fourth within the 71st minute, crossing for Giroud to go in a historic purpose.
After all of the accidents, and after seeing what occurred to Argentina earlier, this was a great night for France.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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