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France beats Australia in opener as Giroud equals scoring file


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World Cup shocker: Saudi Arabia stuns Argentina

AL WAKRAH, Qatar — France began their World Cup title protection in model with a 4-1 comeback win in opposition to Australia on Tuesday, with Olivier Giroud scoring two objectives to change into Les Bleus’ joint all-time high scorer.

Giroud netted earlier than and after the break to take his tally to 51 objectives, matching Thierry Henry’s mark. He scored both facet of a Kylian Mbappe objective after Adrien Rabiot had leveled for France following Craig Goodwin’s shock early opener.

Les Bleus are the primary defending champions to win their opening match since Brazil in 2006, which has already put them in a very good place to advance from the group section, one thing Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018 did not do.

France, whose defender Lucas Hernandez was dominated out of the World Cup after choosing up a severe knee harm within the first half, have three factors and lead Tunisia and Denmark by two after they performed out a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps’s facet, who began the event on the again of the frustration of striker Karim Benzema being dominated out injured final Saturday, subsequent face Denmark on Saturday.

Australia coach Graham Arnold stated his crew ran out of fuel in opposition to a superior facet.

It was not fairly the beginning France have been anticipating on the Al Janoub stadium.

Australia’s Goodwin smacked the ball into the roof of the web from Mathew Leckie’s cross from the suitable, leaving Lucas Hernandez holding his proper knee after being overwhelmed to the ball after 9 minutes.

Hernandez’s brother Theo got here on in its place and France continued to wrestle to create area, with solely Mbappe threatening on his left flank.

Australia have been rather more direct, taking advantage of Les Bleus’ non-existent midfield.

It was Rabiot who levelled within the 27th, nonetheless, leaving his marker behind to go house from Hernandez’s cross.

With Mbappe transferring extra centrally, the Australia protection had one other drawback to cope with and that was clear when the Paris St Germain ahead’s backheel inside the realm was collected by Rabiot, who slid the ball throughout for Giroud to faucet in.

France performed extra freely from then on, with Antoine Griezmann’s low shot going simply extensive and Mbappe skying his try over the bar as he raced to satisfy Griezmann’s cross from the suitable.

Australia saved France on their toes and got here shut shortly earlier than halftime when Jackson Irvine’s header grazed Hugo Lloris’ right-hand put up after a rebound.

Mbappe prompted extra chaos early within the second half however couldn’t fairly discover the breakthrough, till he silenced the Australia followers, who within the first half have been shouting ‘Who’re you?’ at him, with a glancing header within the 68th minute.

Three minutes later, Giroud headed house from Mbappe’s cross earlier than falling on his again in obvious disbelief and being surrounded by his crew mates in a objective celebration that lasted longer than regular, giving an exhilarating really feel to France’s win.

It took Giroud, who owed his place within the beginning lineup to Benzema’s absence, 115 worldwide appearances to attain his 51 objectives, whereas Henry wanted 123 from 1997-2010.

There have been extra probabilities for France by Theo Hernandez and Ibrahima Konate however the outcome was already satisfying sufficient, allowing for that in 2002 their title protection began with a 1-0 loss to Senegal adopted by a first-round exit.

SAUDI ARABIA STUNS ARGENTINA, 2-1
Saudi Arabia served up a shocking upset over Argentina 2-1 within the first match of Group C Play on the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a penalty kick to offer Argentina a 1-0 lead. However it was all Saudi Arabia from there, snapping Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten streak over all competitions.

In a fast scoring spurt, Saleh Al-Shehri bumped a low shot into the web within the 48th minute. Salem Al-Dawsari angled in a second objective, deflected by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, from the penalty space within the 53rd minute.

Argentina had an opportunity to work no less than a draw and held possession for a lot of the match, however near-misses advised the story as a substitute. Nicolas Tagliafico may need had Argentina’s greatest angle at a second objective solely to be denied by a superb save from Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais.

DENMARK 0, TUNISIA 0
A scoreless draw between Denmark and Tunisia opened Group D play on Tuesday in Qatar.

Within the return to worldwide competitors for Denmark’s Christian Eriksen, the European Championship semifinalists have been unable to attain in six photographs on objective. Eriksen had one of many photographs, a long-range missile within the second half, in his anticipated exhibiting, the primary since he went into cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel made a miraculous save earlier than the half to maintain Tunisia scoreless.

There was just one scoreless draw within the 2018 World Cup.

Denmark’s greatest scoring alternative from point-blank vary was stymied by Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen, who additionally swatted away Eriksen’s shot.

MEXICO 0, POLAND 0
Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saved a scoreless recreation with a miraculous save within the 58th minute on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw with Poland.

Mexico dominated the Group C opener in time of possession and saved Poland away from authentic scoring probabilities all through the match.

The outcome spares Argentina, the one crew within the group with a gap loss, after a shocking loss to Saudi Arabia.

Alexis Vega had two of Mexico’s greatest scoring probabilities however was denied on crosses. Ochoa’s save on Robert Lewandowski’s penalty attempt introduced the boisterous pro-Mexico crowd to roaring decibels. — Reuters

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