Giroud equals Henry report as France sink Australia

Olivier Giroud joined Thierry Henry as France’s all-time main goalscorer with a brace because the holders roared again to beat Australia 4-1 and get their defence of the World Cup off to a flying begin Tuesday.

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Australia took a shock lead at Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar with the sport simply 9 minutes outdated when Craig Goodwin scored.

France, whose build-up to the match was marred by accidents, noticed left-back Lucas Hernandez come off damage within the transfer that led to the aim.

Nonetheless, they recovered to equalise by way of Adrien Rabiot earlier than Giroud put them forward with a simple end within the thirty second minute for his fiftieth worldwide aim.

Kylian Mbappe acquired his title on the scoresheet within the second half and Giroud sealed the win to equal Henry’s report tally of 51 objectives for France.

The win leaves them high of Group D after Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0.

“It’s good to attain 4 objectives, even when we may have had extra, and it’s a extremely good begin for us,” stated France coach Didier Deschamps.

On the age of 36, veteran AC Milan striker Giroud, who has 115 caps, is the oldest participant to attain for France at a World Cup.

But he nearly actually wouldn’t have been taking part in right here had Karim Benzema been match.

As an alternative, the withdrawal of the Ballon d’Or winner with a thigh damage on the eve of the match has performed into the palms of Giroud, who was a key participant for Deschamps in France’s triumphant 2018 World Cup marketing campaign however didn’t rating in Russia.

“He deserves respect for performing on the very highest degree for thus a few years and delivering even when no one appeared to imagine in him,” stated teammate Benjamin Pavard.

“I’m so happy for him as a result of he is a superb man. I hope he retains going and beats extra information.”

It’s not simply Benzema who’s lacking for Les Bleus, with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante –- their beginning midfield duo 4 years in the past –- out of the match.

Centre-back Raphael Varane was not risked having not performed since struggling a leg damage taking part in for Manchester United a month in the past.

That meant Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate –- with 9 caps between them –- performed collectively in central defence whereas Rabiot joined Aurelien Tchouameni in midfield.

– Hernandez damage blow –

Australia shocked the world champions by scoring an early opener.

Mathew Leckie managed the ball on the fitting and escaped Lucas Hernandez earlier than delivering a low ball throughout the face of aim for Goodwin to complete into the roof of the online.

Hernandez damage his proper knee attempting to cease Leckie, and the Bayern Munich defender was helped off to be taken for checks, along with his brother Theo approaching.

The youthful Hernandez didn’t have the very best introduction, giving the ball away and permitting Mitch Duke to hit a shot from vary that flew simply extensive.

But he performed a component within the Twenty seventh-minute equaliser –- Antoine Griezmann’s right-wing nook was cleared however the ball got here to Hernandez on the left and his cross was headed in by Rabiot.

5 minutes later Rabiot was concerned once more as France went forward, hounding Nathaniel Atkinson out of possession on the French left and taking part in a one-two with Mbappe earlier than teeing up Giroud.

A Jackson Irvine header that hit the put up in first-half stoppage time was a reminder that Australia may nonetheless threaten, however France ran away with the sport after the break.

Griezmann had a shot cleared off the road simply earlier than Mbappe made it 3-1 halfway by way of the second half, as he headed in off a put up from Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

Mbappe then turned supplier as France acquired their fourth within the 71st minute, crossing for Giroud to go in a historic aim.

After all of the accidents, and after seeing what occurred to Argentina earlier, this was a superb night for France however a sobering one for the Socceroos.

“Total the boys did all they may and that’s all I can ask,” stated their coach Graham Arnold.