France battled back from an early scare against Australia, eventually cruising to a 4-1 victory at the Al Janoub Stadium on what was a historic night for Olivier Giroud.
The AC Milan striker netted twice to move level with Thierry Henry as the country’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals, though the night didn’t start well for Les Bleus.
Craig Goodwin shocked everyone when he put the Socceroos ahead after nine minutes, firing home a Matthew Leckie cross that left Hugo Lloris with no chance. Making matters worse for France was the fact Lucas Hernandez injured his knee on the play, with brother Theo brought on as his replacement.
The excitement was short lived for Australia as France levelled proceedings through an Adrien Rabiot close-range header after 27 minutes, before Giroud put the defending champions ahead five minutes later via a simple tap in.
From there it was all France, with Didier Deschamps’ men wasting several chances to extend their advantage before the half. It almost came back to haunt them when Jackson Irvine’s header hit the upright just before the referee ended the opening frame.
Australia hung in the match until the 68th minute when Kylian Mbappe nodded the ball in from close range, while Giroud headed home his record-tying 51st goal for France soon after after some fine work by the PSG star down the left.
From there Les Bleus saw out the final minutes with relative ease to move atop Group D with three points, ahead of Denmark and Tunisia who battled to a goalless draw earlier in the day.