Defending champions France saw their World Cup journey get off to a flying start after subduing Australia with a 4-1 win on Tuesday.
The game started with Australia taking the lead after Craig Goodwin scored in the ninth minute.
But the tide began to turn in France’s favor soon after, as French midfielder Adrien Rabiot equalized with a powerful header in the 27th minute and set up Giroud’s first goal soon after.
France’s success showed that the team can cope without its star striker. In Karim Benzema’s absence, Kylian Mbappé scored and set up the second of Olivier Giroud’s two goals to help lead Les Bleus to victory against the Socceroos.
Giroud’s 71st-minute header took him equal Thierry Henry’s national record of 51 goals — a record he could break when France face Denmark on Saturday.
“It’s not just about chasing records, it’s about what he always does on the pitch,” coach Didier Deschamps said. “He is a very important player for us.”
Responding to France’s victory, Australian coach Graham Arnold acknowledged the strength of the opposing team, which is ranked fourth in the world according to FIFA.
“They are world champions for a reason,” he said. “The first half we did well, the second half we ran out of legs.”