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Giroud equals Henry file 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Australia took a shock lead at Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar with the sport simply 9 minutes outdated when Craig Goodwin scored.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 event was marred by accidents, noticed left-back Lucas Hernandez come off harm within the transfer that led to the purpose.

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

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

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

“It’s good to attain 4 objectives, even when we might have had extra, and it’s a extremely good begin for us,” mentioned 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 enjoying 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 event has performed into the fingers 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 stage for thus a few years and delivering even when no person appeared to consider in him,” mentioned 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 isn’t 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 event.

Centre-back Raphael Varane was not risked having not performed since struggling a leg damage enjoying 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 correct and escaped Lucas Hernandez earlier than delivering a low ball throughout the face of purpose for Goodwin to complete into the roof of the online.

Hernandez harm his proper knee making an attempt to cease Leckie, and the Bayern Munich defender was helped off to be taken for exams, along with his brother Theo approaching.

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

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 enjoying a one-two with Mbappe earlier than teeing up Giroud.

A Jackson Irvine header that hit the submit in first-half stoppage time was a reminder that Australia might 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 via the second half, as he headed in off a submit from Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

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

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

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

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