• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

France defeats Australia 4-1 after slow start

BySean Clark

Nov 22, 2022

Photo courtesy of FOX Soccer

EDITOR’s NOTE: Elevated Media does not condone the conditions in which the World Cup came together nor is our coverage acceptance of the outdated viewpoints of Qatari leaders.

“The curse of the champion” has been very prevalent in four of the last five World Cups as the defending champion has been eliminated in the group stage all of those times with the trend starting in 2002 with France losing 1-0 to Senegal.

Coming into the 2022 World Cup, the defending champion Les Bleus squad was riddled with injuries. N’golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema are missing the competition with injuries.

As France opened the World Cup against the Socceroos of Australia, many were wondering if this trend would continue. Early on, fortunes for France appeared to sour even further as in the ninth minute, winger Mathew Leckie delivered a perfect through-ball to left-winger Craig Goodwin, who blasted the shot past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to give the Socceroos a 1-0 lead.

The goal was an insult to injury as French defender Lucas Hernandez suffered an injury and was forced to be subbed off for his brother, Theo Hernandez.

In the 26th minute, Hernandez made a huge impact by delivering a perfect cross to Adrien Rabiot, who headed it past Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan for the equalizer.

From there, the French attack would be off and running and cruise away from the Socceroos. Olivier Giroud, who did not score a single goal in the 2018 World Cup, scored the go-ahead goal on the delivery from Rabiot.

In the 71st minute, Giroud would put France up 4-1 on a perfect header from Kylian Mbappe’s cross. Giroud with the goal was the 51st of his international career, tying the Les Bleus all-time record for most goals scored for France with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

Aside from that cross, Mbappe left his mark on the match. After missing an open chance on a cross from Antoine Griezmann late in the first half, Mbappe got his goal in the 68th minute, heading home the cross from winger Ousmane Dembele.

France came away with the 4-1 win. While injuries have plagued the team leading up to their World Cup opener, Didier Deschamps’ squad still has a silly amount of depth where they can plug in replacements all over the pitch and still look the squad that won the 2018 World Cup. Aurelien Tchouameni had a dominant performance across the pitch, filling in the void at the midfield for stalwarts Kante and Pogba.

As for the attack, Giroud still has his scoring ability at the ripe age of 36 while being supplemented by Dembele, Mbappe and Griezmann. They look as deadly as ever.

The Socceroos started the match well and put up a valiant effort against the defending champions. Aside from the first goal, Australia nearly equalized before halftime as midfielder Jackson Irvine’s header clanked off the post. Alas, the talent gap was clear and the Socceroos fell to Les Bleus for the second World Cup in a row (lost their 2018 World Cup opener 2-1 to France).

On Saturday, France will battle Denmark at 11:00 a.m. ET while Australia will take on Tunisia at 5:00 a.m. EST. Earlier today, Tunisia and Denmark battled their way to a scoreless draw.Β