Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry’s France goalscoring record as Les Bleus fought back to begin their World Cup defence with a 4-1 victory over Australia on Tuesday.
World Cup 2022 Group D Highlights as France beat Australia 4-1 to top the table.
Having lost Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and others to injury during a chaotic build-up to the tournament.
It seemed to be a tough for the reigning champions to defend their throne.
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France suffered another blow when Craig Goodwin fired Australia into an early lead.
But the holders responded well, with Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud joined to complete the comeback in the first half.
Juventus’ star Rabiot recorded a goal and an assist, with the latter for Giroud.
Kylian Mbappe then made the points safe with a fine glancing header before teeing up Giroud to nod home his landmark 51st goal.
Rabiot contributed to both goals, nodding home Theo Hernandez’s deep cross after 27 minutes before his cut-back allowed Giroud to tap in. The cross from the AC Milan’s star was inch-perfect for Rabiot to score with his header.
The end of an entertaining first half featured clear chances at both ends, with Mbappe firing over from close range before Jackson Irvine headed against the post.
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Giroud went close to a spectacular second when he sent an acrobatic effort wide shortly after the break.
France finally had a deserved third goal after 68 minutes, with Mbappe diverting Ousmane Dembele’s cross in off the post and made it 3-1.
Mbappe sent in a fine cross for France’s fourth just three minutes later, but the moment belonged to Giroud as he powered a header beyond Mathew Ryan to earn a slice of Les Bleus history.
Giroud – France’s key player in the 2018 World Cup’s triumph – helped himself to a brace to draw level with Henry’s tally of 51 goals for his country, hitting that number in eight fewer caps than the Arsenal great.
It’s good to know that Giroud:
- Never featured for France‘s youth team
- Didn’t get his first senior cap until he was 25
- Didn’t get a major European move until Arsenal bought him at 25
- Only played 40 minutes in Euro 2020
- Level with Henry on France goals at age 36