For a moment, France choked Australia tonight. But the reigning world champion soon put things in order. With the 4-1 win, a major step towards the knockout stage has already been taken.
Australia’s national coach Graham Arnold showed some disappointment to his teammate Didier Deschamps of France on Tuesday evening. Not that Les Bleus’ eventual victory was undeserved, but it was. But if ever Arnold’s team felt they could pull off a stunt against the reigning world champions, it was this time at Al Janob Stadium. Although the final score of 4-1 said otherwise.
In Australia, Jackson Irwin, a mustachioed male goldfinch eagerly chases a football game. Kylian Mbappe is in the France squad, and the stylish attacker was not at his best in a beautiful French shirt tonight, but was once again crucial to an already star-studded side. At 3-1, Mbappé ended his team’s toughest game so far, which only ended with a big score in the course of the second half.
Until then, France threatened to bite Australia for a while. And inseparable from the relentless, quintessentially Australian movement that Irwin so aptly embodies. Arnold’s side took a brutal lead thanks to some excellent finishing work from former Sparta striker Craig Goodwin.
Although France then quickly leveled matters through Adrien Rabiot (1-1) and Olivier Giroud 2-1, Australia continued to wait for a goal. And through Irvine (against the title) the team was close. It was only after Mbappé’s 3-1 that Arnold’s team’s resistance was broken, so to speak, and Giroud seized the opportunity to play in the record books. The 4-1 was not only his second of the evening, but his 51st for France. He is now the top scorer in the country along with Thierry Henry.
Arnold, ex-striker of Rhoda JC and NAC? He stood there, looked at it, and must have thought: Hadn’t Mitchell Duke’s blast ended shortly after Goodwin made it 0-1? Perhaps his team, a la Saudi Arabia against Argentina, ultimately did more than deserve a defeat.
Lucas Hernandez is also injured
Already in the opening phase of the game, Bayern Munich’s French defender Lucas Hernandez was injured. About ten minutes later, the defender injured his knee after trying to block a cross.
,, It looks serious”, national coach Didier Deschamps said afterwards. “Lucas is still undergoing some tests, but I’m not optimistic. We played well after a difficult start. But it’s a blemish on a beautiful evening.”
France are already missing Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimbembe and Christopher Ngungu. They won’t play in the tournament in Qatar anyway.
Lucas Hernandez was replaced by his brother Theo Hernandez against Australia.
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