Like four years ago in Russia, Equip Tricolor picked up three points against Socceroos at the start of the tournament, at that time the victory was 2-1. In the ranking table, the French advanced to Denmark and Tunisia, who shared the points with a 0-0 draw in the afternoon. The Australian players will now be under pressure against their North African counterparts on Saturday as the defending champions take on the Danes. “Les Bleus” recently suffered two defeats against the Scandinavians in the Nations League.
Deschamps put Giroud in the middle for injured striker Karim Benzema, who will miss the World Cup. Mbappe stormed from the left and Ousmane Dembele from the right, while Antoine Griezmann played more than a dozen. Former Salzburger Dayot Upamecano was given the advantage in central defense over the recently injured Raphael Varane and formed the Bayern-Munich block in defense with Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, which Ibrahima Konate completed. Aussie coach Graham Arnold went on to claim a 4-3-3 victory over the underdog.
The match started slow in front of 40,875 spectators at Al Janoub Stadium and picked up after ten minutes. A long ball fell to Matthew Leckie as Hernandez fell unassisted. The Aussie fired his own shot at Goodwin who was left alone in the penalty area who lived up to his name and smashed the ball under the crossbar. Hugo Lloris had no chance. It got worse for the world champion: Hernandez apparently suffered a knee injury on the job and had to be replaced. His brother, Theo, came in to play for him.
Deschamps’ squad was in shock mode for a while, which the team from “Down” couldn’t turn into anything that could count. Instead, the candidate reportedly dominated the game. After a corner had already been saved, the French got their second ball and found Hernandez Rabiot with a cross in the middle, which he headed in to equalise.
That’s not all, the Grand Nation immediately followed suit: defender Nathaniel Atkinson carelessly lost the ball behind, and Mbappe Rabiot put him in position with a heel. He served scorer Giroud, who effortlessly pushed into the empty goal to make it 2-1. Once again the 36-year-old (37), Antoine Griezmann (42) and especially Mbappe from close range (45th) missed some of the first-class players to the third goal before the end of the first half. On the other hand, Jackson Irvin headed the ball against the outside crossbar in one of the rare counter-attacks (45 + 2).
In the second half, Jiro caused excitement again. The Milan striker almost polished Hernandez’s cross with a side kick (50), but the ball went wide of the goal. Fifteen minutes later, Aziz Behech tipped Griezmann’s shot off the line, but Mbappe headed in Dembele’s lead to make it 3–1.
The bag was finally closed by Giroud, who also hit his head after Mbappe Assist. It was his 51st goal for the national team, equal to France’s all-time leading scorer Thierry Henry. The tall striker was then celebrated by his teammates and soon after a good start to the World Cup finals.