It was a record-equaling evening for French striker Olivier Giroud as France thumped Australia 4-1 to kickstart their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign. Giroud, who scored a brace in the thumping win over Australia has now equaled Thierry Henry’s record for most goals for France at the international level. Both Henry and Giroud are now on 51 goals each while France top Group C at the end of Matchday 1 after Tunisia and Denmark played out a goalless draw earlier in the day.
France come from behind
On a day that began with one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, Didier Deschamps' side risked going the same way that Argentina had against Saudi Arabia when Craig Goodwin put Australia ahead inside the first 10 minutes of the match.
But goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud put France ahead before half-time and the quality told in the second half with Kylian Mbappe emerging as the star of the show. He scored the third and then set up Giroud for the fourth with a magnificent cross. That goal moved the 36-year-old Giroud level with Thierry Henry as France's all-time record scorer with 51 goals for the men's national team.
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Australia would have known the size of their task going in but started with real composure and their goal was wonderfully worked. A brilliant switch of play by Harry Souttar set up Matthew Leckie and his cross found Goodwin who finished neatly at the far post.
Lucas Hernandez was injured in the build-up to that Australia goal, adding to the list of France casualties that might have created a sense of events conspiring against them. But his replacement, brother Theo, assisted Rabiot's equaliser and they did not look back.
Within minutes of heading his country level, the elegant midfielder turned provider, latching onto a delightful flick from Mbappe to set up Giroud. The veteran striker had the simplest of tasks to turn the ball into the net for his 50th international goal.
France will next take the field on Saturday (November 26) at Stadium 974 in Doha where they play a blockbuster tie against Denmark who drew earlier in the day. Australia on the flip side will play Tunisia on the same day and will look to make amends after a disastrous start to the FIFA World Cup campaign.