Thursday, March 30, 2023

Giroud equals scoring file as France beat Australia in dominant World Cup opener

France’s Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his aspect’s fourth aim throughout the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, on the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, November 22, 2022
| Photograph Credit score: AP

Olivier Giroud turned France‘s joint all-time high scorer when his double helped the holders begin the defence of their World Cup title in fashion with a 4-1 comeback Group D win towards Australia on Tuesday.

Giroud discovered the web earlier than and after the break to take his tally to 51 targets, matching Thierry Henry’s mark, both aspect of a Kylian Mbappe aim after Adrien Rabiot had levelled following Craig Goodwin’s shock early opener.

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 did not do.

France, who misplaced defender Lucas Hernandez to a knee harm, have three factors and lead Tunisia and Denmark by two after they performed out a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps’s France aspect, who began the match on the again of the frustration of striker Karim Benzema being dominated out injured final Saturday, subsequent face Denmark on Saturday.

It was not fairly the beginning France had been anticipating on the Al Janoub stadium.

Goodwin smacked the ball into the roof of the web from Mathew Leckie’s cross from the precise, leaving Lucas Hernandez holding his proper knee after being crushed to the ball after 9 minutes.

Hernandez’s brother Theo got here on in its place and France continued to wrestle to create house, with solely Mbappe threatening on his left flank.

Exhilarating really feel

Australia had been rather more direct, benefiting from Les Bleus’s non-existent midfield.

It was, nonetheless, Rabiot who levelled within the twenty seventh, leaving his marker behind to go house from Hernandez’s cross.

With Mbappe transferring extra centrally, the Australia defence had another drawback to cope with and that was clear when the Paris St Germain ahead’s again heel inside the world was collected by Rabiot, who slid the ball throughout for Giroud to faucet in.

They performed extra freely from then on, with Antoine Griezmann’s low shot going simply vast and Mbappe skying his try over the bar as he raced to satisfy Griezmann’s cross from the precise.

Australia stored France on their toes and got here shut shortly earlier than halftime when Jackson Irvine’s header grazed Hugo Lloris’s right-hand put up after a rebound.

Mbappe precipitated extra chaos early within the second half however couldn’t fairly discover the breakthrough, till he silenced the Australian followers, who within the first half had been shouting ‘Who’re you?’ at him, with a glancing header within the 68th minute.

Three minutes later, Giroud headed house from Mbappe’s cross earlier than falling on his again in obvious disbelief and being surrounded by his crew mates in a aim celebration that lasted longer than common, giving an exhilarating really feel to France’s win.

It took Giroud, who owed his place within the beginning lineup to Benzema’s absence, 115 worldwide appearances to attain his 51 targets, whereas Henry wanted 123 from 1997-2010.

There have been extra possibilities for France via Hernandez and Ibrahim Konate however the end result was satisfying sufficient, taking into consideration that in 2002 the defence of their title began with a 1-0 loss to Senegal and was adopted by a first-round exit.

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