Olivier Giroud grew to become France’s joint all-time prime scorer when his double helped the holders begin the defence of their World Cup title in model with a 4-1 comeback Group D win in opposition to 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 facet 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 part, 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 facet, who began the event 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 have been anticipating on the Al Janoub stadium.
Goodwin smacked the ball into the roof of the web from Mathew Leckie’s cross from the appropriate, leaving Lucas Hernandez holding his proper knee after being crushed to the ball after 9 minutes.
Hernandez’s brother Theo got here on as an alternative and France continued to battle to create area, with solely Mbappe threatening on his left flank.
Exhilarating really feel
Australia have been rather more direct, taking advantage of Les Bleus’s non-existent midfield.
It was, nevertheless, 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 yet one more downside to take care of 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 fulfill Griezmann’s cross from the appropriate.
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 publish after a rebound.
Mbappe brought on 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 have 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 workforce mates in a aim celebration that lasted longer than traditional, 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 probabilities for France by means of Hernandez and Ibrahim Konate however the consequence 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.