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France trounce Australia 4-1 to begin World Cup defence

Olivier Giroud has scored twice as World Cup holders France recovered from the shock of going behind to thump Australia 4-1 in their opener in Qatar.

Veteran striker Giroud drew level with Thierry Henry’s all-time record of 51 goals for France and Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe also scored on Tuesday, after Australia took a surprise ninth-minute lead through Craig Goodwin.

Champions France, favourites Argentina arrive in Qatar for World Cup

Australia had taken a stunning lead at Al Janoub Stadium when Goodwin applied a super finish to Mathew Leckie’s cross after nine minutes, but France levelled when Adrien Rabiot headed home and Giroud’s tap-in gave them the halftime lead.

Kylian Mbappe’s glancing header in the 68th minute was followed by Giroud’s 51st international goal three minutes later, drawing him level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top marksman.

Didier Deschamps’ side, who lead the Group D after rivals Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0 earlier on Tuesday, ended a run of poor starts for World Cup holders, after the previous three — Italy, Spain and Germany — all failed to win their openers.

READ MORE: Huge blow for France as Karim Benzema is ruled out of World Cup

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