Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s coverage of the France vs Australia Group D match.
France have made a statement with their win today. Winners curse? What is that? They got off to a slow start as Australia opened the account first. But that was just the motivation Les Blues needed to fire their motors. Rabiot scored the first goal, and then set up the second for Giroud. They added two more in the second half as Mbappe was in form. Giroud became the joint-highest scorer, drawing level to Thierry Henry at 51 goals. The two settled the three points for their side. France plays Denmark next while Australia will be up against Tunisia.
Coman wins the ball from a mishit Australian pass and launches forward. He plays it to Mbappe on the left, who in turn crosses to Mbappe. The ball in nicked off in time with a headed clearance.
Giroud with a second goal! Mbappe assists to make Giroud the joint-highest scorer for France. France lead 4-1!
Mbappe! That is the third one for France, and the 23-year-old most valuable player in the world scores. This was coming.
Cleared off the line by Australia!
Mbappe is coming alive now! He receives the pass on the run, cleanly collects and lets out a shot. The defender is in place to block the attempt but that was neat from Mbappe.
A sublime pass from Giroud. Mbappe plays the ball to him. Giroud has his back to the goal. He does not turn, simply flicks the ball back with the inside of his left foot onto Mbappe’s path. The shot from the PSG forward has too much power but he wins a corner.
France tease their opposition with a long spell of possession but the move ends when Konate’s attempted ball onto the right flank goes out of play.
Australia makes a change in attack.
In - Cummings, Out - Duke
Giroud! Oh my goodness! That was inches wide from target. Theo Hernandez makes identical runs in behind, gets the exact same passes and puts in the exact same cross. While the first one is cleared, the second one is met by the AC Milan striker. He attempts an audacious overhead kick and only misses marginally.
Australia win a corner but fail to utilise that from a poor delivery. They retain possession though.
Australia are underway with the ball at control for the second period. Can they make a comeback?
The players are making their way back to the field for the second half
Australia showed that they are up for a fight and went ahead in the competition. That only got the French to step their foot on the throttle. They found two goals - through Rabiot and Giroud and controlled the match from thereon. Australia came close when Irvine hit the post but that was all the opportunities that they could muster. Mbappe too had a chance to get the third but missed.
Mbappe is trying to enter into the box from the left but is denied by an Atkinson tackle. That is the last action of the first half.
Off the post! Socceroos denied by the woodwork. A cross comes in from the left but an French leg in the path sees it pop up. Irvine puts his head to the ball. Lloris thinks the ball is going wide but it touches the post. The rebound is cleared safely.
Mbappe, how do you miss that? Griezmann launches a run in behind. He gets the ball and squares it to Mbappe down the middle. He misses from point blank range and buries his head into the ground. That could have been three.
Dembele misses! France build another attack from the left flank. Mbappe is in the box and he crosses down the ground to Dembele. The winger slips while taking the shot and has no control. Goal Kick.
Australia have been stunned by France’s revival. Les Blues are controlling the ball with ease now. Dembele knocked one ball ahead of him and sprinted past Behich with ease. He crossed the ball and Giroud had a shot with his right foot, but the ball went soaring over the post.
GIROOOUUUUUDDDDDDDD! France take the lead! Clinical, absolutely clinical
Another chance for France! They again utilise a set piece. Griezmann plays a cross in with his right foot and Giroud jumps the highest in the Australia six-yard box. He is falling backwards which prevent any power on the shot.
France are level! Rabiot scores a header for the defending champions.
Mbappe receives a pass between the lines, he turns and sets off on his hot wheels! Souttar charges out of his position to clear the ball. Good defending!
Missed by a whisker! That could have been embarrassing for Theo. He played a faint pass towards Konate but the ball landed with Duke. He decided to take a shot than dribble. The attempt goes over on the right side of goal. Could have been trouble for France.
France are trying to work their way in with intricate passing and one-touch football. Not helping as Australia’s compact defence is stationed perfectly to defend everything.
An early goal conceded means France have urgency in their attacks. Australia have managed to defend a corner so far, and multiple attempts from the left flank.
France are forced to make a change! Lucas was injured when Leckie skipped past him. Seems to have injured his ankle. He is replaced by brother Theo.
AUSTRALIA TAKE THE LEAD!!!!!! Goodwin scores! France are rocked with an early goal.
The Socceroos gain some confidence! They have kept the possession for the last couple of minute. No major threat created but positive signs.
High press deployed by Graham Arnold’s team in the early minutes. They have kept the ball in the France half so far.
SHOT! Australia have their first shot, but it is off target and does not trouble Lloris.
France make an early entry into the Socceroos box and Mbappe tries to skip past the defence on the left side but the Aussies defend well.
France get the ball rolling with Giroud kicking things off from the centre circle. The French World Cup defence is underway!
00:25 - Victor Gomes is the man in charge of the contest! The South African will be assisted by Drew Fischer in VAR.
00:25 - The National Anthems are done!
The national anthems are completed! La Marseillaise followed by Advance Australia Fair.
00:23 - Aussie Aussie Aussie! OI OI OI!!
00:07 - France vs Australia in 2018 FIFA World Cup
The two teams had faced off in the previous World Cup. Griezmann and Jedinak scored penalties for each side before an own goal by Behich settled the game in favour of France.
00:02 - Recap
France’s Karim Benzema, the Ballon D’or winner this year, was with the France squad until he faced a knee injury in the training camp. the injury ruled him out of the World Cup.
23:58 - This is how the French team is likely to line up in the match:
23:50 - Head to Head Record
Played: 5 | France: 3 | Australia: 1 | Tied: 1
23:30 - Lineups out!
France - Lloris - Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Hernandez - Rabiot, Tchouameni, Griezmann - Dembele, Giroud, Mbappe
Australia - Behich, Leckie, Mooy, Ryan, Duke, Irvine, Goodwin, Souttar, Rowles, McGree, Atkinson
Even without the injured Karim Benzema, defending World Cup champion France has plenty of attacking power.
Most teams would love to have either Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann or Olivier Giroud in their forward line, let alone all three. They have 119 international goals between them, plus an abundance of speed, craft, experience and skill.
But France does not have the same assurances in midfield, and that is where Australia could trouble Les Bleus on Tuesday in their opening Group D match.
France struggled to beat Australia 2-1 when the teams met in their World Cup opener four years ago, and that was with a full-strength midfield.
France coach Didier Deschamps is missing the injured N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba — his dynamic engine room from 2018. Pogba has played 91 times for France and one of his 11 goals came in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the 2018 final.
While Pogba’s form has been up and down since then, Kante’s consistency rarely ever dropped and he’s arguably an even bigger loss.
So Deschamps faces Australia with a revamped midfield where the most experienced player is Adrien Rabiot — Pogba’s teammate at Italian club Juventus — with 29 appearances.
Now Rabiot will likely line up on the left of a midfield three at Al Janoub Stadium with 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni in the center, and either Eduardo Camavainga or 23-year-old Matteo Guendouzi on the right.
But Australia has a solid midfield, too, led by the experienced Aaron Mooy — a tough tackler and able passer who played two seasons in the Premier League with Brighton and has made 53 appearances.
Mathew Leckie was Australia’s best player at the 2014 World Cup and poses a threat from the wing. The 31-year-old Leckie is also the national team’s top scorer with 13 international goals.
Leckie and Mooy both started against France four years ago.
But coach Australia coach Graham Arnold’s plans for this match were hit when winger Martin Boyle pulled out on Sunday with a knee injury. Boyle has a decent scoring record with five goals from 19 appearances for Australia.
“We all feel for Martin and it is a cruel blow for him,” Arnold said. “He has been an integral part of our journey to get to Qatar.”
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH
Where will the France vs Australia World Cup opening match kick-off?
The France vs Australia match will kick-off at the Al Janoub Stadium.
When will the France vs Australia World Cup opening match kick-off?
The France vs Australia match will kick-off at 12:30 AM IST on November 23, 2022.
Where can you watch the France vs Australia match in India?
The France vs Australia World Cup opening match will be telecasted live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On Android and well as iOS, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be live streamed on JioCinema.
Where can you watch the France vs Australia match outside India?
The following list shows where you can watch the France vs Australia match outside of India
United States – TV: FOX, Telemundo; Live Stream: fuboTV, Fox Sports app, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada – TV: CTV, TSN; Live Stream: fuboTV, TSN app
United Kingdom – TV: BBC One; Live Stream: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Website
Australia – TV: SBS; Live Stream: SBS On Demand
New Zealand – TV: Sky Sports; Live Stream: Sky Sport
Malaysia – TV: RTM, Astro; Live Stream: Astro Go
Singapore – TV: Mediacorp Channel 5; Live Stream: StarHub TV+, IPTV, Singtel TV
Hong Kong – TV: BeIN Sports, ITV; Live Stream: Now TV, ViuTV
Nigeria – SuperSport and Showmax Pro.