Giroud ties document, Mbappe scores as France cruise


Olivier Giroud moved degree with Thierry Henry as France‘s all-time prime males’s scorer after his brace led the World Cup holders to a 4-1 win over Australia of their Group D opener at Qatar’s Al-Janoub Stadium on Tuesday.

Craig Goodwin gave the Socceroos a shock lead when crashing in a shot on the again put up in simply the ninth minute. However France quickly roared to life and by half-time had the lead after Adrien Rabiot after which Giroud scored within the house of 5 minutes.

Two extra fast fireplace targets got here halfway by way of the second half. Kylian Mbappe introduced himself to the event along with his first aim in Qatar earlier than organising Giroud to go in his 51st aim for his nation three minutes later.

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Les Bleus are the primary defending champions to win their opening match since Brazil in 2006, which has already put them in good place to advance from the group section, one thing Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018 didn’t do.

The outcome places France prime of the group, forward of Denmark and Tunisia following their goalless draw earlier within the day. It’ll even be a major increase for coach Didier Deschamps and his aspect after the buildup to the protection of the title they gained in Russia in 2018 was dominated by harm absences.

Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was the most recent and largest of these absentees, following an harm suffered in coaching on Saturday, becoming a member of an extended checklist that already included Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

However there have been spectacular performances for those who took their place as France confirmed they won’t relinquish their trophy frivolously.

“We got a scare but reacted quickly afterwards,” Giroud, who additionally changed Zinedine Zidane as France’s oldest scorer at a World Cup, stated. “Even if we could have scored more goals, we found each other, we were efficient.

“It is superb for our self-confidence to have turned issues round. We’ll need to study from these little errors nonetheless.”

It was not quite the start France were expecting in Al Wakrah, however.

Goodwin smacked the ball into the roof of the net from Mathew Leckie‘s cross from the right, leaving Lucas Hernandez holding his right knee after being beaten to the ball.

France later confirmed that Hernandez had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out of the rest of the tournament.

Hernandez’s brother Theo came on as a substitute and France continued to struggle to create space, with only Mbappe threatening on his left flank.

Australia were much more direct, making the most of Les Bleus’s non-existent midfield.

It was, however, Rabiot who levelled in the 27th, leaving his marker behind to head home from Hernandez’s cross.

With Mbappe moving more centrally, the Australia defence had one more problem to deal with and that was clear when the Paris Saint-Germain forward’s back heel inside the area was collected by Rabiot, who slid the ball across for Giroud to tap in.

They played more freely from then on, with Antoine Griezmann‘s low shot going just wide and Mbappe skying his attempt over the bar as he raced to meet Griezmann’s cross from the right.

Australia kept France on their toes and came close shortly before half-time when Jackson Irvine‘s header grazed Hugo Lloris‘ right-hand post after a rebound.

Mbappe caused more chaos early in the second half but could not quite find the breakthrough, until he silenced the Australian fans, who in the first half were shouting ‘Who are you?’ at him, with a glancing header in the 68th minute.

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Three minutes later, Giroud headed home from Mbappe’s cross before falling on his back in apparent disbelief and being surrounded by his team mates in a goal celebration that lasted longer than usual, giving an exhilarating feel to France’s win.

It took Giroud, who owed his place in the starting lineup to Benzema’s absence, 115 international appearances to score his 51 goals, while Henry needed 123 from 1997-2010.

There were more chances for France through Hernandez and Ibrahima Konate but the result was satisfying enough, bearing in mind that in 2002 the defence of their title started with a 1-0 loss to Senegal and was followed by a first-round exit

Australia coach Graham Arnold said his team ran out of gas against a superior side.

“Look, on the finish of the day, they’re are a top quality aspect. They’re world champions for a cause,” he added.

“I assumed the primary half, we did effectively. Second half, we ran out of legs a bit, however that is the kind of degree of these gamers play at.”

France will subsequent tackle Denmark on Saturday after Australia face Tunisia earlier within the day.

Info from Reuters was used on this report.

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