France, the defending champions, had a fantastic start to their World Cup campaign when they beat Australia with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday.
The match started with an Australian lead after Craig Goodwin scored in the ninth minute.
But the tide began to turn in France’s favor soon after, as French midfielder Adrien Rabiot equalized with a powerful header in the 27th minute and set up Giroud’s first goal soon after.
France’s success showed that the team could cope without its star striker. In the absence of Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe scored a goal and set up Olivier Giroud’s second goal, helping to lead Les Bleus to victory over the Socceroos.
Giroud’s header in the 71st minute sent him equaling Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals – a record he could break when France face Denmark on Saturday.
“It’s not just about chasing records, but about what he always does on the field,” said coach Didier Deschamps. “He is a very important player for us.”
In response to France’s victory, Australian coach Graham Arnold acknowledged the strength of the opposing team, which is ranked fourth in the world by FIFA.
“They are world champions for a reason,” he said. “In the first half we did well, and in the second half we ran out a bit.”