Champions France got their Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign off to a great start as they thrashed Australia 4-1 in their Group D opening fixture on Tuesday.
Olivier Giroud bagged a brace for France which saw him equal Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer on 51 goals.
Also on target for France were Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot.
France put the pressure on as early as the 2nd minute as Ousmane Dembele got down the right hand side and put a cross in towards the back post that fell at the feet of Mbappe, who won a corner for his side.
But it was Australia who took a shock lead in the 8th minute through Craig Goodwin smashed into the roof of the net from a superb cross.
France were forced into an early change as Lucas Hernandez went off injured and was replaced by his brother Theo Hernandez.
In the 22nd minute Australia almost doubled their lead but Mitchell Duke’s long range strike flew narrowly over the top of Hugo Lloris’ net.
France were back on level terms on 27 minutes thanks to Rabiot who headed in Hernandez’s delightful cross.
In the 37th minute Olivier Giroud put France 2-1 up as he tapped into an empty net off a cutback from Rabiot.
It is the former Arsenal man’s 50th goal for the reigning world champions.
With five minutes left in the first half Mbappe broke on the left and crossed inside the box but Dembele could not direct his effort towards goal.
In the 42nd minute Anttoine Griezman had the chance to extend France lead off a back heel pass from Mbappe inside the box but saw his low shot narrowly miss the target.
Mbappe could have made it 3-1 on 44 minutes but blasted his effort off Griezman’s cross just over the bar.
Two minutes into added time Jackson Irvine almost drew Australia level after meeting a left wing cross but his header came off the post.
Five minutes into the second half France had two opportunities, first through Aurelien Tchouameni whose goal bound strike from the edge of the box was box and Giroud’s bicycle kick went wide.
Mbappe had the chance to make it 3-1 on 61 minutes after a clever one-two with Gitoud but his shot was blocked for a corner.
France continued to probe for more goals and were unlucky not to score as Griezman saw his shot cleared off the line by Aziz Behich
They were eventually rewarded on 67 minutes as Mbappe rose to head in Dembele’s cross to make it 3-1.
France continued to go in search for more goals and got on the score sheet again on 72 minutes as Giroud nodded in Mbappe’s cross from the left.
Mbappe got close to getting his second goal on 83 minutes but failed to control Griezman’s lofted pass over the Australia defence as the keeper rushed out to claim.
In the 90th minute Ibrahima Konate thought he had gotten the fifth goal for France only to see Australia keeper Mat Ryan punched his header away.Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.