France hammer Australia 4-1 as Giroud ties Henry’s record
France vs Australia: The reigning, defending world champions fell behind early, but came back to beat the Socceroos 4-1 in their 2022 World Cup opener at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar on Tuesday.
Just days after losing star striker and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Les Bleus suffered not only the blow of conceding the opening goal, but also the potential loss of another starter, Bayern Munich left back Lucas Hernandez, to injury in just the 9th minute. Hernandez clutched his knee while in agony on the ground, as Mathew Leckie went past him and crossed for Craig Goodwin at the back post. In the end, it was Australia’s only shot on target.
France came to life shortly thereafter, though, drawing level through Adrien Rabiot in the 27th, before Olivier Giroud slotted the ball into an open net for 2-1 in the 32nd. Kylian Mbappe added goal no. 3 in the 68th, before playing the assister for Giroud’s second in the 71st. Those were international goals no. 50 and 51 for Giroud, who pulls level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leaders.
How to watch France vs Australia live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday
Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
Didier Deschamps might already be feeling like Les Blues are cursed and doomed in their big to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1958 and 1962. N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba were lost weeks before the tournament was set to begin, but at least France had the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner to lead the attack and, perhaps more importantly, allow Kylian Mbappe to operate in his preferred role as the second striker playing off a target man. Olivier Giroud could slide into the starting lineup, but the likeliest result of Benzema’s injury will be Mbappe playing as the center forward.
France quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema
Australia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 38
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from AFC via the intercontinental playoffs
Coach: Graham Arnold
Key players: Mathew Ryan, Aaron Mooy, Mathew Leckie