Giroud double equals record as holders France crush Australia

In the absence of the injured Karim Benzema, Giroud heads the front line with Dembele on his right and Mbappe on his left

Published : 22 Nov 2022, 06:23 PM
Updated : 22 Nov 2022, 06:23 PM

Olivier Giroud netted twice to become France's joint record scorer as they fought back to put Australia to the sword, opening their World Cup defence with a 4-1 Group D win on Tuesday that silenced talk of a holders' curse.

Australia had taken a stunning lead at Al Janoub Stadium when Craig Goodwin applied a super finish to Mathew Leckie's cross after nine minutes, but France levelled when Adrien Rabiot headed home and Giroud's tap-in gave them the halftime lead.

Kylian Mbappe's glancing header in the 68th minute was followed by Giroud's 51st international goal three minutes later, drawing him level with Thierry Henry as France's all-time top marksman.

Didier Deschamps' side, who lead the Group D after rivals Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0 earlier on Tuesday, ended a run of poor starts for World Cup holders, after the previous three -- Italy, Spain and Germany -- all failed to win their openers.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher