AUSTRALIA VS FRANCE WORLD CUP MATCH PREVIEW
* Result: France 4 Australia 1
* Key moments: After Craig Goodwin scored for the Australians, France reacted as champions do: quickly and with brutal brilliance, Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud scoring in the 27th and 32nd minutes to restore order to world football. Kylian Mbappe’s header in the 68th completed the three points. Giroud’s second goal three minutes later sent the Socceroos in despair, while leveling him with Thierry Henry on 51 goals as France’s all-time top scorer.
* Player of the match: France megastar Mbappe dined on Australian right-back Nathaniel Atkinson, scoring one goal and having a boot in two more. The Socceroos simply had no answers for his pace and trickery.
* Stat that counts: SIX. Graham Arnold turned to six World Cup debutants: Goodwin, Mitchell Duke, Riley McGree, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar and Atkinson. He brought in five other debutants as substitutes: Jason Cummings, Awer Mabil, Garang Kuol, Keanu Baccus and Milos Degenek, who attended Russia 2018 without stepping onto the pitch. Kuol, at 18 years and 68 days, has become the youngest player to represent the Socceroos at a World Cup.
* Quote of the day: “We worked hard to build that belief and the way we started I think they believed in it. We were just punished for our mistakes and the delivery of their crosses was right on target .” – Australian coach Graham Arnold explains what went wrong.
* What’s next: The Aussies meet Tunisia (Saturday 9:00 p.m. AEDT) in what looks to be a decisive clash. Eliminate the Tunisians, who held Denmark to a goalless draw in their Group D opener, and the Socceroos have a boost ahead of their clash with the Danes (December 1, 2:00 AEDT).
- Socceroos name six World Cup debutants
- Loss takes polish off cup goal: Goodwin
- Socceroos make one change for Tunisia game
- Teenager Kuol sets sights on Socceroos
- Socceroos in defensive reshuffle at cup