France got off to the best possible start to their title defense campaign with a 4-1 win over Australia at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah on Tuesday in Group D of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Australia took the lead through Craig Goodwin (9) before France responded with a four-way rotation that saw Adrien Rabiot (27), Olivier Giroud (32 and 71) and Kylian Mbappe (68) all score.
France are in the middle of this tournament without many influential players, notably top scorer Karim Benzema, who won this year’s Ballon d’Or, who was injured two days before the start of the tournament. The midfield duo of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante played an important role in the rooster’s second World Cup title in their history at the 2018 World Cup.
The starting eleven consisted of six players who played in the final four years ago.
Veteran AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud replaced Benzema alongside Mbappé, scoring two goals in which he equaled Thierry Henry’s record for France with 51.
The match was a rematch of the match between the two teams in the World Cup held in Russia, which ended with a 2-1 victory for France.
France opened the scoring early on, but the Aussies surprised on the scoreboard with Goodwin lurking at the far post, who headed in Matthew Lecky’s pass from the right, followed by the first. Close-up on the roof of the net (9).
France and Bayern Munich left-back Luca Hernandez was injured in goal control and was replaced by his AC Milan brother Theo.
The French team tied in the press and got what they were looking for when Hernández got up in the area with his left foot and Rabiot headed it into the net (27).
Rabio refused to wait for the World Cup held in Russia four years ago, so he was excluded for a long time before returning to the national team.
And soon the French team added the second goal, when Rabiot killed one of the Australian defenders and reached Mbappé, who returned it.
At 36 years and 53 days, Giroud became the oldest goalscorer for a European team at a World Cup (excluding players who scored on own goals) since George Bridge in Switzerland (36 and 152 days) with the United States. 1994 World Cup.
Mbappé missed an opportunity when Griezmann presented him with the ball on a silver platter with the door open, but he shot high (45).
Careless, the Australian team almost equalized, but Jackson Irwin’s header was blocked by the crossbar in stoppage time.
The French team started the second half with a beautiful acrobatic ball by Giroud, which went over the crossbar (51).
Mbappé added a third after Dembélé’s pass down the left flank followed with a thunderous header that hit the post and went into the net (68).
The French team took advantage of the teammate’s break and scored the fourth goal when Mbappé made a pass inside the area, which Giroud headed into the net (71).
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