AL WAKRAH, Qatar – Olivier Giroud scored twice in a 4 to 1 comeback victory for France over Australia on Tuesday to tie him for the team’s all-time leading scorer honors. France began the defense of their World Cup championship in grand fashion.
Giroud scored twice during the first half to tie Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals. Craig Goodwin’s unexpected early goal was followed by goals from Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe, and he scored both goals either side of those.
In contrast to Italy in 2010, Spain 2014, and Germany 2018, Les Bleus are the first defending champions to win their opening match since Brazil 2006. This has already put them in a strong position to move from the group stage.
After Tuesday’s 0 to 0 stalemate between Tunisia and Denmark, France has three points and leads Tunisia and Denmark by two goals. France’s defender Lucas Hernandez, who suffered a major knee injury in the first half, is now out of the World Cup.
The disappointment of Karim Benzema’s injury last Saturday caused Didier Deschamps’ team to start the tournament on the back foot. On Saturday, they will take on Denmark.
The 36-year-old Giroud, who is now France’s oldest goal scorer in the World Cup, said, “We received a fright but reacted fast after. Even though we could have scored more goals, we found each other, and we were efficient.
We will have to learn from these small blunders, but it’s extremely excellent for our confidence that things have turned around.
Coach Graham Arnold of Australia claimed that against a stronger opponent, his team ran out of steam.
They are world champions for a reason, he continued, “so look, at the end of the day, they’re a fantastic side.
We performed admirably in the first half, but in the second half, we ran a little low on energy, but that’s the level at which those players compete.
Meanwhile: A Rout By The Reigning Champs In The Title Defense Gets Kylian Mbappe France Started
On Tuesday, reigning champion France overcame a sluggish start to breeze past Australia, 4-1. Kylian Mbappe scored his first goal of the 2022 World Cup.
The Australians were defeated by Les Bleus in their opening match four years ago in Russia thanks to a penalty and a late own goal.
Craig Goodwin expertly completed a free-flowing move to put Didier Deschamps’ side under unexpected pressure, compounding French worries about a similarly challenging performance after just nine minutes. This hinted at another potential shock just hours after Saudi Arabia’s significant upset of Argentina.
However, the French are always a threat when star player Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain is among them, and the game had already changed before the end of the first half.
Adrien Rabiot first headed in a superb cross from Theo Hernandez, and then 36-year-old Olivier Giroud tapped in for his 51st goal for France. Karim Benzema was injured and unable to compete in this match.
Midway through the second period, Mbappe finally had his chance to shine, scoring from close range. Then, thanks to his brilliant centering, Giroud was able to drive in his second goal of the game and help the 2018 champions get off to the best possible start.
Four years ago, Mbappe was brilliant and still holds the top spot-on FOX Sports soccer pundit Stu Holden’s selection of the 50 best players at the World Cup. The number of casualties sustained by Deschamps’ men in the lead-up to the event, though, make him bear even greater responsibility this time.
As a result of Denmark’s 0 to 0 tie with Tunisia earlier in the day and some much-needed improvement to its own goal difference, France leads Group D after one match. This puts it in an ideal position.
The opening game of a champion’s title defense is frequently difficult for them. In 2002, Senegal pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by defeating France, which had had a difficult time.
There are no such concerns in this situation, not with Mbappe acting sour. Since Brazil in 1962, no country has won consecutively.