It took Lionel Messi 10 minutes and a penalty (that silenced a raucous Saudi crowd behind the team dugouts at the Lusail Stadium) to set sails for yet another World Cup adventure – his last – to exorcise the ghosts of disappointments past.
Fortune favoured Saudi Arabia as Saleh Alshehri scored between the legs of a late-diving Cristian Romero and the outstretched left hand of Emiliano.
The Saudi Arabia fans lent a festive buzz to the stadium as Salem Aldawsari fired an electric arcing effort to the top left corner of Emiliano’s goal in the 53rd minute and put his side in the lead.
Craig Goodwin gave the Socceroos a shock lead when crashing in a shot at the back post in just the ninth minute. That would prove to be the only silver lining for Australia in the end.
France midfielder Adrien Rabiot’s header put his team level with Australia after 27 minutes.
World Cup holder France thrashed Australia 4-1 as Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry’s all-time scoring record for the national team. Giroud scored a brace in Tuesday night’s game.
Kylian Mbappe got his first goal of this FIFA World Cup when he headed in Ousmane Dembele’s cross after 68 minutes. He then delivered the cross that Oliver Giroud converted to equal Thierry Henry’s record of 51 France goals.
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