France open World Cup defense with 4-1 thrashing of Australia

Stevian Francis

5 days ago

Share Story

Listen to article

No Benzema, no problem for France, as the reigning World Cup holder kicked off their title defense in a commanding manner with a 4-1 thrashing of the “Socceroos” Australia in their Group D opener on Tuesday.

The two-time winners France came into the tournament with a plethora of injury concerns none more devastating than the last-minute absence of Ballon D’or winner striker Karim Benzema who was ruled out with injury during training last week.

However, the team showed no signs of worry as the potency in their attack was enough to comprehensively overhaul Aussies.

Goals from veteran striker Olivier Giroud and current star Kylian Mbappe, ensured that the French nerves were steadied start their journey.

Giroud scored a brace in minutes 32 and 71 to provide reassurance of victory after Adrian Rabiot’s 27th-minute strike to level things after Craig Goodwin shot Australia into a shock ninth-minute lead.

On a day that had been characterized by one of the biggest upsets ever the champs ensured they would not be among such stats with Mbappe adding to France’s tally in the 68th minute to rule out any chance of a comeback.

The win puts them firmly atop Group D with maximum-three points comfortably ahead of second and third place Denmark and Tunisia who both played to a goalless draw earlier in the day.

France will next face the Danes Saturday (November 26) before tackling the Tunisians on November 30.

Related Stories