Failing to manage to sell him submarines, France knows how to beat Australia at the opening of a football World Cup. From Kazan to Al-Wakrah, there is almost a four and a half year gap, 5,000 kilometers in distance and two margin goals. But also another story to write for the rest of the tournament. In Russia, the Blues had started the competition by a few erasures (2-1) before a perfect ending. In the Al-Janoub stadium, whose architecture reminds us that Qatar found pearls before selling gas, the world champions scored the goals (4-1), Tuesday, November 22. The victory is wide, beautiful in places, but does not remove all doubts.
The adversary does not change, neither do his limits. But on a day when the small team concept was torpedoed by Saudi Arabia v Argentina (2-1)the performance of Didier Deschamps’ men is appreciated for what it is: “An overall good quality copy”. The coach has commented relatively little on the good news lately – between a victory in six games (in the League of Nations) and a cascade of injuries – so as not to add a “could do better”.
Otherwise, it’s well known: players don’t read the press, don’t listen to the radio and don’t watch TV. However, the Blues always guess the criticisms and the doubts. A victory against them ” Socceroos » is not yet enough to prove definitively wrong the pessimists, the skeptics and all those who see the French quite early in a Doha-Paris. But Adrien Rabiot had a bit of a desire to puff out his chest and already make an appointment: “We have potential. We must not be underestimated”warned the author of the equalizing goal (27e).
When Mbappé scores with a header
However, the affair started badly and even revived the specter of the defending champion eliminated in the first round, this concept inaugurated by the French in 2002 and since taken over by Italy, Spain and Germany. At the 9e minute, Benjamin Pavard is not at second post to monitor Craig Goodwin, just in time to cool the Blues. On this action, Lucas Hernandez leaves his right knee (cruciate ligaments affected and World Cup finished)… and gives way to his brother Theo, who was very convincing afterwards.
For the 3,300 French supporters, the atmosphere is then as fresh as an air-conditioned stadium in the desert and even The Marseillaise do not take. Fortunately, a header from Rabiot and an assist from the Turinese five minutes later for Olivier Giroud (32e) turn the world champions right side up.
You have 62.3% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.