FIFAWC 2022: Giroud makes history as France beats Australia to top Group D

Olivier Giroud wrote his name in the history of French football by scoring a double for the French team, who defeated Australia 4:1 in Group D of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The reigning champions held off a strong challenge from the Socceroos to get their campaign off to a flying start.

With most champions in recent history failing to make it past the tournament’s group stage, France were in danger of suffering a similar fate as they lost many of their key players going into the tournament, including Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. Les Bleus were looking to avoid a similar fate to Argentina, who lost to Saudi Arabia earlier in the day.

France made the worst possible start to the game as they conceded an early goal and lost yet another key player. Mathew Leckie received the ball on the wing before sending a low cross into the box for Craig Goodwin to fire high at the far post after just nine minutes. Lucas Hernandez was injured while approaching the goal.

Les Bleus picked up the pace and quickly equalized just before the half-hour mark. Substitute Teo Hernandez sent Adrien Rabiot’s header into the penalty area in the 27th minute.

France took the lead for the first time in the game 5 minutes later through Olivier Giroud, striker of Milan. The 36-year-old got on the end of Rabiot’s square pass and fired the ball into the unguarded goal from close range.

Les Bleus continued to assert their dominance and Kylian Mbappe inevitably found the back of the net. The PSG star headed into the net in the 68th minute after Ousmane Dembele’s cross. The 23-year-old turned provider shortly after after doing well on the wing for Giroud to head home in the 71st minute.

France eased fears of an early elimination and chased away the ghosts of 2002 with a resounding victory. Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals for Les Bleus in 9 fewer appearances for the national team and became the second player to score 50 goals for his country. He also became France’s oldest FIFA World Cup player and goalscorer.