Giroud equals Henry’s goal record as France survive scare to thrash Australia

Lucas Hernandez was on the ground, writhing in pain with a stretcher on its way. Hugo Lloris could at least get back up but was enduring another sort of agony entirely, having dived too low when the ball was headed for the net’s roof.

Craig Goodwin got on the ground of his own accord, sliding to his knees in the ecstasy of a 30‑year‑old South Australian journeyman who had just scored nine minutes into his first World Cup. Ibrahima Konaté was stunned. Kylian Mbappé hung his head. Was this the champion’s curse? Were Australia about to pull “a Saudi Arabia”?

That is not how this story ended at the Al Janoub Stadium, but it did it cater well to the narrative of France’s temperamentality. And Zinedine Zidane was surely watching, finger‑steepling from afar, scheming amid reports that he has already reached a preliminary agreement to take over from Didier Deschamps after the tournament.

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This article was written by Emma Kemp at Al Janoub Stadium and originally published on www.theguardian.com