France began their defense of the FIFA World Cup with an outstanding 4-1 victory over Australia in the final match on Tuesday as Olivier Giroud made a record.
The AC Milan striker scored a brace between Andrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe goals.
France was hit with a lot of injury problems going into the tournament as midfielders N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba were ruled out pre-tournament.
RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema were injured before the Blues played their first game.
With Benzema’s absence, the responsibility fell onto the AC Milan striker, and with the former Chelsea and Arsenal striker just two goals away from Thierry Henry’s record goals for France; it was an opportunity to make history.
However, spurred on by Saudi Arabia’s big win on the day, Australia went ahead in search of its miracle.
Craig Goodwin scored in the ninth minute to put the Socceroos in front, but the lead lasted until the 27th minute when Andrien Rabiot scored with a header.
Giroud scored his first five minutes later, while Kylian Mbappe made it 3-1 in the 66th minute before Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud never featured for France’s youth team and didn’t get his first senior cap until he was 25. He only played 40 minutes in Euro 2020 but has managed to bounce back, stating that he won’t stop there.
“It’s a great source of pride; I don’t intend to stop there. I hope to continue in the competition to help the team to realize our objective. We’re taking each match one after the other and looking to improve”. Giroud said
France will face Denmark next Saturday before their final group game against Tunisia. Both Tunisia and Denmark played out a goalless draw.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu