Giroud and Mbappe among the goals as France at four-middable best to see off Australia

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Giroud and Mbappe among the goals as France at four-middable best to see off Australia
Updated
Reuters, StatsPerform
Despite a shock lead for Australia in the ninth minute, France ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in their opening Group D clash thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot. The win gives the reigning champions the perfect start as they look to become the first side to retain the World Cup since 1962.

Full Time: France 4 Australia 1

22:01 CET: Check out the full match stats, powered by StatsPerform and if you missed any of the game, read our report, written by Akhil Fisher.

Match stats at full time
StatsPerform

22:00 CET: In the end, a routine win for a France side trying to figure itself out given injuries to key players, but their performance either side of the break will give manager Didier Deschamps great confidence heading into their next game against Denmark - on paper their toughest test in the first stage of the competition. 

Second half

21:52 CET: Changes for both sides as the game fizzles to a finish. Olivier Giroud has been taken off, meaning he will not be breaking Henry's record tonight. We are into stoppage time.

21:45 CET: Mbappe is human after all. He is set through on the left once again, but he is unable to control it and Mat Ryan gratefully picks it up. The PSG winger is furious with himself. Six minutes left of normal tie in this Group D clash.

21:39 CET: With the game seemingly wrapped up, France make a double change. Kingsley Coman and Youssouf Fofana on for Aurelien Tchouameni and Ousmanne Dembele.

21:37 CET: Safe to say, it has been all France since Australia scored way back in the ninth minute.

France v Australia momentum
StatsPerform

21:34 CET: GIROUUUDDD! 4-1 to France and that's game over.

Mbappe turns provider for Giroud, who nets his second goal of the game with a header. He has now gone level with Thierry Henry in the all-time goalscoring charts for France and it's safe to say they have weathered the early storm to dominate this game.

21:30 CET: MBAPPE MAKES IT THREE! 

Dembele crosses another tempting delivery to find his fellow winger and Mbappe, deadly in the box does not miss, heading in off the post to give France some breathing space.

21:29 CET: The pace has gone out of the game a bit and even more so as Aurelien Tchouameni is caught by Jackson Irvine and he requires treatment. Thankfully he's back on his feet.

21:23 CET: France threatening, again through Kylian Mbappe. He bursts through the defence, but a last ditch tackle prevents a shot. The resulting corner leads to nothing.

21:19 CET: Just after receiving a booking Mitchell Duke has been hooked for Jason Cummings, who adds a bit more of a threat up top.

21:15 CET: A relatively quiet start to the second half with Giroud missing the best chance so far. Mbappe then floats a free-kick into the box that comes to nothing. France won't feel too comfortable just yet.

21:08 CET: We are back under way in Qatar - no changes for either side as Australia kick off the second half.

Half time: France 2 Australia 1

20:55 CET: A half dominated by France but a glimmer of hope for Australia, who find themselves only a goal down despite intense pressure.

Here are the stats from the first half, powered by StatsPerform.

France v Australia first half stats
StatsPerform

20:53 CET: After Australia took a shock lead, France have threatened on nearly every attack and deserve two goals at half-time. But, they look open at the back, and the Socceroos will be buoyed at the break with Jackson Irvine hitting the post in first half stoppage time. An intriguing second period awaits.

First Half

20:47 CET: The answer is very nearly found as Australia hit the post! A deflected cross from the left finds Jackson Irvine unmarked but his header agonisingly can only find the upright with Lloris beaten. A huge chance for the Socceroos.

20:45 CET: Another golden chance to make it 3-1 goes begging for France. Griezmann escapes down the right and picks out an onrushing Mbappe four yards out, but the PSG striker can only fire over with the goal at his mercy. Will these missed chances come back to haunt France? Six minutes added on at the end of the half.

20:43 CET: Griezmann, who has been quiet so far, has a good opportunity to score after some industrious work from Dembele. The winger finds the Atletico Madrid player on the edge of the box, but he fires just wide of the right post. Two minutes until the break and Australia seem desperate for the whistle.

20:37 CET: France not firmly on the front foot and Giroud has another good chance to add to their lead. The ball breaks to him on the half volley inside the box, but he is off balance and fires way over the bar. Ominous signs for Australia, who are struggling to get out of their own half.

20:32 CET: FRANCE IN FRONT THROUGH GIROUD

Rabiot turns provider for Giroud to tap in. France rob Australia of the ball high up the pitch and Rabiot finds the French striker for his 50th goal in national colours. The two replacements, who would have been on the bench had it not been for injuries, have rescued the situation for the reigning champions.

20:27 CET: FRANCE ARE LEVEL THROUGH RABIOT

France are back on level terms through Adrien Rabiot. Theo Hernandez, off the bench, whips in a delicious cross that finds Rabiot inside the box and he heads past a helpless Mat Ryan.

20:22 CET: Mitchell Duke from distance, so close! The Australian midfielder lets fly from nearly 30 yards, and is a whisker away from finding the top corner. Hugo Lloris was beaten - a moment of panic for the keeper.

20:21 CET: Twenty minutes gone in the contest, and Australia are holding firm after their early goal. For France, bringing Olivier Giroud into the game could be what they need. The striker is yet to make an impact.

20:18 CET: It's been all France since the goal, with Mbappe looking particulary dangerous. However, Australia are playing compact and narrow, meaning there is not much space for France to work into. Good defence from the underdogs so far.

20:11 CET: To add insult to injury (literally), Lucas Hernandez has stayed down for France following the goal. He is having to be carried off the pitch in what could be another bad injury for Didier Deschamps' men. Looks like his brother Theo is set to replace him.

20:09 CET: AUSTRALIA LEAD AGAINST THE REIGNING CHAMPIONS! 

Craig Goodwin latches onto a perfect cross and sends a fierce strike into the top corner. What a start for the Aussies!

20:03 CET: France show their attacking qualities early with Ousmanne Dembele getting in behind early. Australia ride the pressure and push forward themselves. An open start to the game. 

20:00 CET: France get the last game of Tuesday under way.

19:59 CET: History at the World Cup tonight, as Kathryn Nesbitt takes fourth official duties - the first woman to officiate on the field at a men's World Cup.

19:54 CET: The players are out at Al Janoub Stadium for the anthems. 

Team News

Olivier Giroud was named as a lone striker in the France team to face Australia in their opening World Cup Group D game on Tuesday.

In the absence of the injured Karim Benzema, Giroud heads the front line with Ousmane Dembele on his right, Kylian Mbappe on his left and Antoine Griezmann playing a slightly deeper role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

In central defence, Ibrahima Konate pairs up with Dayot Upamecano with Raphael Varane, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury, sitting on the bench.

For Australia, Ajdin Hrustic is on the bench as he comes back from an ankle injury and Riley McGree starts in his place in midfield in a 4-3-3 line-up.

France: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Ibrahima Konate, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud

Australia: Mat Ryan, Nathaniel Atkinson, Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Aziz Behich, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree, Craig Goodwin, Mathew Leckie, Mitchell Duke

Introduction

No reigning champion of the World Cup has won the tournament back-to-back since 1962 and France start their defence with key players missing up front and in the centre of the pitch. Their quest was not helped when Karim Benzema went down with a tournament-ending injury just days before tonight's opening game.

However, they still have a very strong side and pit themselves against an Australia side who have flattered to deceive in recent times. They will be heavy underdogs for the Group D clash, but they can draw inspiration from Saudi Arabia's shock win over Argentina earlier in the day.

From 19:55 CET, we will have live audio commentary for you to enjoy, or you can stick with us for all the major moments from Al Janoub Stadium.