France have kicked off their World Cup with a convincing 4-1 demolition of Australia as they seek to defend the world’s biggest football trophy.
France: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, Lucas Hernandez; Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe; Olivier Giroud.
Australia: Mathew Ryan; Nathaniel Atkinson, Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Aziz Behich; Aaron Mooy; Craig Goodwin, Riley McGree, Jackson Irvine, Matthew Leckie; Mitchell Duke.
France went into the game with an advantage in squad depth and records. Both sides have met five times, with France winning three, drawing one, and losing one.
Out of all previous meetings, their only World Cup meeting was in the last edition of the World Cup in Russia.
It was an opening match, and France went on to win with a convincing 2-1 victory, and went ahead to win the tournament.
As expected, France kicked off the game on a high note dominating play and pressing Australia for an early curtain-raiser.
Tchouameni and Kylian Mbappe were the main threats to the Australian defence as they made early attempts to find a goal. Thanks to an experienced Australian back line, they kept off the threats and held the PSG and Real Madrid forward at bare.
Australia equally had a bit of possession despite playing second fiddle to the star-studded French team.
Their first clear chance against the French side came in the 9th minute and was well utilized. It was Australian midfielder Godwin on the score sheet with an assist from M. Leckie.
Leckie had leveled down Lucas Hernandez after receiving a crossfield pass from Souttar. He then sends a cross to the far post, and Godwin was there to power it into the net.
Australia surprisingly went a goal up despite conceding possession to the more clinical and composed French side.
France immediately responded with increased pressure as they attempted to level the scores after surprisingly trailing by a lone goal.
They continued mounting pressure but could not make anything happen, with the Australians retreating into their own half to defend their narrow 1-0 lead.
The French side finally scored an equalizer in the 27th minute. It was from a corner kick. Australia’s defence cleared the looping shot from the corner box, but substitute Theo Hernandez shot it back into the box. Adrien Rabiot planted a beautiful header pass the Australian goalkeeper. France were now level on a 1-1 scoreline.
France continued to exert their dominance and pushed Australia back. They pressed more for a second goal and finally hit another in the 32nd minute.
Former Arsenal and AC Milan forward Olivier Giroud was on the scoresheet this time. It was the second goal in five minutes of play.
After picking a cutback from Adrien Rabiot, Giroud dribbled off an opponent and shot into an empty net to give the French side the lead.
After pulling that dramatic come-back after just five minutes, France continued dominating the game but could not find the back of the net again as the first half ended in a 2-1 lead.
Australia put up a better performance in the second half but could not upset the French side.
France seemed more comfortable with the ball when they won possession but had to check on their opponents’ counters on the wings.
Australia did better in contesting for the ball against France but could not offset the scoreline with 30 minutes remaining in the game.
France continued to dominate play and effectively put the game beyond Australia after another two goals – a header from Kylian Mbappe and a strike by Olivier Giroud.
The game finally ended with France securing a deserved 4-1 win over Australia to kickstart their 2022 FIFA World Cup on a winning note.