French striker Olivier Giroud scored twice to become his country’s joint record goalscorer, as France opened their World Cup defense with a 4-1 Group D win over Australia.
Australia’s Socceroos had shocked the world champions by scoring a goal in the ninth minute, with Craig Goodwin firing the ball sideways into the top corner.
The underdogs will undoubtedly have taken inspiration from Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia this morning.
With French full-back Lucas Hernandez limping off after being injured while attempting to block the cross that led to the first goal, France couldn’t have asked for a worse start.
But Hernandez’s brother Theo took his place in France’s defensive line, and less than twenty minutes later was instrumental in setting up Adrien Rabiot’s first goal for Les Blues – earning Australia’s early confidence made disappear.
Five minutes later, with just over half an hour on the clock, Giroud, who became France’s oldest player in World Cup history at the age of 36, had a nearly empty goal as a result of some excellent French press.
France took the lead and never looked back.
An opportunity for Australia in the closing moments of the first half, against the grain of the game, rattled off the post.
France continued to dominate in the second half and Kylian Mbappe finally found his target in the 67th minute – before, five minutes later, smashing the left side and sending in a Giroud cross for France’s fourth. Giroud is now tied with Thierry Henry on 51 goals for France.
Australia will have more chances to make its mark in this tournament. France already has that.