France 4-1 Australia: Olivier Giroud equals Henry record as holders make winning start


Olivier Giroud’s landmark double helped France come from behind to post a comprehensive win in their Group D opener against Australia.

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.

After losing Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and others to injury during a chaotic build-up to the tournament, France suffered another blow when Craig Goodwin fired Australia into an early lead.

But the holders responded well, with the impressive Adrien Rabiot scoring and assisting – Giroud’s second – during a first-half turnaround.

Kylian Mbappe then secured the points with a fine glancing header before teeing up Giroud to nod in his 51st goal as France topped Group D.

Goodwin headed Mathew Leckie’s cross into the net after nine minutes in a dream start for Australia, but a quick French double turned the game around.

Rabiot contributed to both goals when he nodded home Theo Hernandez’s deep cross on 27 minutes before his cutback allowed Giroud to tap home.

The end of an entertaining first half saw clear chances for both sides, Mbappe firing over from close range before Jackson Irvine headed against the post.

Giroud came close to a spectacular second when he sent an acrobatic effort wide shortly after the break, while Antoine Griezmann saw a shot cleared off the line as France continued to press.

France finally got a deserved third goal on 68 minutes when Mbappe deflected Ousmane Dembele’s cross off the post to seal the win.

Mbappe sent in a fine cross for France’s fourth just three minutes later, but the moment belonged to Giroud as he headed past Mathew Ryan to earn himself a piece of Les Bleus history.

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