France v Australia comeback win proves depth

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DOHA, Qatar – After going down early, World Cup champions France bounced back at the Al-Zanub Stadium on Tuesday Australia has to be defeated 4-1 in Group D,

Australia’s Craig Goodwin scored in just the ninth minute as French defender Lucas Hernandez went down in the play. But France responded with four unanswered goals from Adrien Rabiot, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe to seal the win.

Here’s ESPN’s Julian Lawrence with reaction and analysis from Qatar.

jump to: player ratings , Best/Worst Performers , Highlights and Notable Moments , quotes after match , key figures , upcoming fixtures


Swift response

1. France falters at first but starts with a win

was not easy to les blues — it’s never against Australia (Remember in 2018 Russia), and it is never easy in their World Cup openers (remember 2002, 2006, 2010). But a win is a win, and France Will take for now.

Considering recent drama – injuries, including the last one Karim Benzema With three days left of the tournament, the tension, the uncertainties – as well as the nerves of this first game, Tuesday’s win is a start that could be worth more than just three points to manager Didier Deschamps and his players. les blues Showed character, determination and turned things around, which would give him a lot of momentum.

There are things to improve and correct, certainly – especially defensively – but once the pieces of this new-look team fall into the right places, together antoine griezmann Hybrid is taking a while to adjust to his new role of Number 8/Number. 10, it was much better. Ball movement became more fluid, team sizes became more balanced, and France took control.

To win back to back World Cups, a feat achieved by only Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil France would need more control and more assertiveness in 1958 and 1962. They lost another starter to injury, lucas hernandezAnd it will continue to test France’s depths.

But for now, the French side will be happy. Only one defending champion had won their first game in the last five World Cups, Brazil in 2006. France in 2002, Italy in 2010, spain in 2014 and Germany All failed to do so in 2018. For this, the goal that France lost could not be more disturbing.

2. Giroud equals Henry’s record

Olivier Giroud Likes to say that his football career is an endless new beginning. This is the essence of his career and explains how he continues to rise even when he is expected to fall.

Giroud scored his 50th and 51st international goals for France against Australia for his 115th cap, equaling Thierry Henry’s record for the French men’s team, but with eight games fewer. It’s an incredible achievement for an incredible destiny.

AC Milan The striker was not certain to be a part of this adventure. Deschamps had doubts about Giroud and was hesitant to include him in the team. Again, he was supposed to be Benzema’s back-up, but once again fate played in favor of the 36-year-old.

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His first goal was a tap-in, as Giroud has scored hundreds in his entire life — but it is probably the most important tap-in of his life. His second header was like scoring a century in his life, but again it is probably the most important header.

In 2018, France won the World Cup without him scoring a single goal. He already has two in this edition and the pressure is off his back.

Before the game, he had a feeling that he would find the net. He was one of the first to congratulate Kylian Mbappe when the PSG striker, who is 13 years his junior and assisted him in the second half, also scored in the second half.

At the age of 36, Giroud overtook Zinedine Zidane to become the oldest goalscorer for France in Men’s World Cup history. Beating Zidane and equaling Henry? What an incredible night for Giroud.

3. newcomers who make a good start

All eyes were on him and the class he created on the pitch: Ibrahim Konate, Dayot UpmekanoAurelien Tchoumeni, and Adrien Rabiot,

France’s two centre-backs and two central midfielders made their World Cup debuts against Australia at the center of the France team, and they arrived with a lot of question marks around them. Muscles clearly kicked in, and the first 15 minutes were terrible for all of them, conceding a goal, losing doubles, not winning other balls and struggling to find their positions on the pitch.

Rabiot then made the score 1-1 and it all clicked. Were sudden, prominent and efficient. They will surely face tough tests starting against the next game Denmark On Saturday but for debut, they went from strength to strength.

It’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of rafael verne who should turn back against the Danes), Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba And N’Golo Kanté and it’s very much a quartet for the future. But the World Cup will be a wonderful learning curve.

These four players are 23, 24, 22 and 27 years old respectively. They have 56 caps in total and until Tuesday had never all played together for France, let alone started together and let alone in a World Cup game. For him too, like Giroud, it will be an unforgettable night.


player ratings

France: Lloris 5, Pavard 5, Konate 6, Upamecano 6, Theo 6, Rabiot 7, Choumeni 6, Dembele 4, Griezmann 6, Mbappe 8, Giroud 7.

Australia: Ryan 4, Atkinson 2, Soutar 4, Rawls 3, Behich 4, Irvine 5, Moye 4, McGree 4, Leckie 5, Duke 4, Goodwin 5.


best and worst performers

Best: Kylian Mbappé, France

Sometimes he tried to do too much, but he was excellent along the left wing with his pace and dribbling. His goal, a rare header, rewarded all his wizardry with the ball, and he also crossed the ball for Giroud’s second goal when he could have scored more. Due again.

Bad: Nathaniel Atkinson, Australia

The Hearts right-back struggled all night against Mbappe. It was a test for him, beaten by pace, skill and it was made worse when Theo Hernandez came on for his brother and brought his attacking side into the game.


Highlights and Notable Moments

Tuesday’s Group D opener started in surprising fashion as Australia struck first.

Facing a double whammy, French defender Lucas Hernandez was injured as Australia’s Matthew Leckie fouled him, giving Craig Goodwin a ball to run and shoot.

After Lucas Hernandez was forced to come off, replaced by his brother Theo Hernandez, it didn’t take long for the World Cup champions to level the scores.

Adrien Rabiot equalized through an assist from injury replacement Hernandez.

From there, France grabbed hold of the bench and wouldn’t let go. There were some nervous moments including a shot for Australia just outside the post in stoppage time of the first half, but the French team were among the scorers.

The eventual game-winner Olivier Giroud scored in the 32nd minute.


After the match: What the players and managers said

French manager Didier Deschamps on Lucas Hernandez: “He needs some tests but it looks very serious. He’s a big black spot tonight.”

Football manager Graham Arnold told SBS: “Look at the end of the day, they are a quality side. They are world champions for a reason. I was happy with the first half. In the second half we ran out of feet a bit, but this is the type of level. (French) Players play. We will definitely pick the boys. They should be proud of their effort, commitment. But then again, they are world champions for a reason.”

Goodwin on his goal: “It’s almost an indescribable feeling. To score in the World Cup against the champions is something I will always remember.”


Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Entering Tuesday’s game, the reigning men’s World Cup champions were 9-4-4 (WLD) in their opening World Cup matches. The last champion to win their first match was Brazil in 2006.

  • It was the second-fastest goal France had conceded in their opening game at the Men’s World Cup, and the fastest since 1982 when England’s Bryan Robson scored in the first minute.

  • With his goal, Olivier Giroud became France’s oldest goal scorer in Men’s World Cup history, previously held by Zinedine Zidane.


next

France: les blues Continue their run in Group D and face Denmark on Saturday, November 26 at 11am ET. Then, they finish the group stage against Tunisia on Wednesday, November 30 at 10PM ET.

Australia: The Socceroos continue their run in Group D and will face Tunisia on Saturday, November 26 at 5PM ET. Then, they finish off the group stage against Denmark on Wednesday, November 30 at 10AM ET.





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