Reigning FIFA World Cup champions France came from behind to pip Australia 4-1 as they began their World Cup defence in style in Qatar in a group D fixture on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
Goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud put France ahead before half-time Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. Kylian Mbappe scored the third and then set up Giroud for the fourth with a cross.
That goal moved 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.
France continue their title defence against Denmark on Saturday, while Australia play Tunisia earlier that day.
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.
France’s win in stats
- 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.
- France were the first reigning champion to win their opening game of a World Cup tournament since Brazil in 2006.
- France conceded the opening goal in a World Cup match for the first time since the 2014 quarter-final against Germany.
- This was also the earliest that France have conceded at the tournament since 1982 against England when Bryan Robson scored after 27 seconds.
- Olivier Giroud became the second-oldest player to score a brace at the World Cup, after Roger Milla, who netted twice in 1990 for Cameroon while aged 38.
- Kylian Mbappé, who has scored 12 goals in his last 11 appearances for France, is the youngest player to reach five World Cup goals for the country.
- Adrien Rabiot became the first player to both score and assist a goal on his World Cup debut for France since Christophe Dugarry against South Africa in 1998.