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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

2022 FIFA World Cup: Oliver Giroud equals Thierry Henry’s record as France fight back to beat Australia (Video)

Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry’s France goalscoring record as Les Bleus fought back to begin their World Cup defence with a 4-1 victory over Australia on Tuesday.

Despite losing Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and others to injury during a chaotic build-up to the tournament, France suffered another blow when Craig Goodwin fired Australia into an early lead.

But the holders responded well, with the impressive Adrien Rabiot recording a goal and an assist – the latter for Giroud – during a first-half turnaround.

Kylian Mbappe then made the points safe with a fine glancing header before teeing up Giroud to nod home his landmark 51st goal as France took control of Group D.

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The 36-year-old Giroud level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time record scorer with 51 goals for the men’s national team.

It is a record the magnificent Mbappe will surely break one day.

France are two points clear at the top of Group D as a result of this win with Denmark and Tunisia having drawn 0-0 earlier in the day. Australia find themselves bottom, the only team without a point.

France continue their title defence against Denmark on Saturday, kick-off 4pm, while Australia play Tunisia earlier that day at 10am.

The winners of Group D will face the runner-up from Group C, containing Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. The runner-up in Group D will face the winners of Group C.

Watch highlights of the match below;

Key Opta Facts:

– France have won five consecutive games at the World Cup, their joint-longest winning run at the tournament, having also won five in a row from 1986 to 1998.
– Australia have lost 11 of their 17 games at the World Cup (65%), the joint-highest ratio by any nation to play 10+ matches at the competition (Saudi Arabia also 65%).
– France were the first reigning champion to win their opening game of a World Cup tournament since Brazil in 2006, while this was the biggest ever MD1 win by a reigning champion to kick-off a World Cup campaign.
– Olivier Giroud scored his 50th and 51st goals for France, levelling Thierry Henry as the nation’s joint-top goalscorer of all-time (51). Aged 36 years and 53 days, he was the second-oldest player to score a brace at the World Cup, after Roger Milla, who netted a brace twice in 1990 for Cameroon while aged 38.

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