World Cup 2022: Giroud makes history for France in big win over Australia

Al-Wakrah, Qatar - Olivier Giroud equalled the all-time scoring record for the French men's national soccer team, who avoided another World Cup shock by coming from behind to thrash Australia 4-1.

Olivier Giroud celebrates after becoming France's joint all-time top scorer.
Olivier Giroud celebrates after becoming France's joint all-time top scorer.  © REUTERS

The AC Milan striker Giroud scored a brace to join Thierry Henry on a record 51 France goals.

Adrien Rabiot and PSG superstar Kylian Mbappé got the others for the 2018 champions after Australia had taken a shock early lead through Craig Goodwin in the two sides' opening Group D match.

Given that the last three World Cup titleholders – Italy, Spain, and Germany – have gone out in the group stage of the next tournament, and so did France itself in 2002, Goodwin goal in the ninth minute was a serious scare.

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Les Bleus defender Lucas Hernandez also injured himself trying to stop winger Mathew Leckie's assisting cross in that nightmare start. The Bayern Munich fullback, who had only recently returned to fitness, limped off and became the latest casualty for the team already without midfielders N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, as well as forwards Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku.

But France gained control and turned the match around within five minutes when in the 27th, Rabiot headed home a cross from Theo Fernandez, who had replaced his brother, and then set up veteran Giroud to tap home for 2-1.

Les Bleus were lucky when Australia's Jackson Irvine headed against the outside post on the stroke of half-time, but the lively Mbappé then nodded the third in the 68th and his cross found Giroud four minutes later to make a bit of history.

France lead the group after Poland and Mexico played out a 0-0 draw earlier on Tuesday.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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