Giroud, Mbappe help France beat Australia 4-1 at World Cup

Nov 21, 2022, 11:07 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 3:10 pm
France's Olivier Giroud celebrate after he scored during the World Cup group D soccer match between...

France's Olivier Giroud celebrate after he scored during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

              France's Olivier Giroud, right, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              France's Adrien Rabiot, right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
            
              Australia's Craig Goodwin, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              France's Kylian Mbappe kneels after he scored during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              France's Olivier Giroud celebrate after he scored during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — France showed it can cope without its star striker at the World Cup.

In Karim Benzema’s absence, Kylian Mbappe scored one and set up the second of Olivier Giroud’s two goals to help the defending champions beat Australia 4-1 Tuesday.

Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s national record of 51 goals with a header from Mbappe’s cross in the 71st minute. Giroud, who failed to score at the last World Cup but did find the net at the 2014 tournament, can break Henry’s record when France faces Denmark on Saturday.

“It’s not just about chasing records but what he always does on the field,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “He’s a very important player for us.”

Moments before that strike, Mbappe headed in Ousmane Dembele’s cross from the right to start this World Cup as he finished the last — with a goal. He knelt with one hand behind his back and his finger on his forehead in a new celebration.

Deschamps joked that Mbappe could now become even more lethal.

“He always dreams about scoring headers, so if he starts doing that he’ll be even more dangerous,” Deschamps said, cracking a smile. “I knew he would be ready tonight because this is his competition.”

Craig Goodwin gave Australia the lead when he turned in winger Mathew Leckie’s cross in the ninth minute.

France midfielder Adrien Rabiot equalized with a powerful header in the 27th and set up Giroud’s first goal shortly after.

“It’s great for our momentum and confidence to have turned things around,” Giroud said. “Even though we could have scored more we combined well.”

France was playing without the injured Benzema, who was ruled out of the World Cup last week.

The Socceroos were pumped up and the green-and-gold Aussie fans were loving it. They even mocked Mbappe with chants of “Who are ya? Who are ya?” after he lost the ball dribbling down the left.

That’s as good as it got for them.

Theo Hernandez curled in a cross for Rabiot to score his first World Cup goal — four years after refusing to go on France’s standby list in case of injuries. He even emailed France coach Didier Deschamps to be taken off the list and was dropped from the national team for two years.

It’s been some comeback for Rabiot. He’s now leading a midfield missing the injured Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante — France’s engine room the 2018 World Cup.

“Having Adrien playing at this level is very important for us,” Deschamps said.

Injuries are hurting Deschamps’ team, however, and now the coach could be without Lucas Hernandez — Theo’s older brother. He hurt his knee in the build up to Australia’s goal.

“He needs to have tests but unfortunately it does look pretty serious,” Deschamps said. “That’s the real low point about tonight.”

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) celebrates after scoring in the third period of ...
Associated Press

Rangers score 3 in third period to rally past Blues 6-4

NEW YORK (AP) — K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafrenière and Chris Kreider scored in the third period gas the New York Rangers rallied to beat the St. Louis Blues 6-4 on Monday night. Vincent Trochek had a goal and an assist, and Braden Schneider and Adam Fox also scored for the Rangers, who won for the […]
19 hours ago
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort fouls Atlanta Hawks guard Jarrett Culver during the fir...
Associated Press

Gilgeous-Alexander scores 35 as Thunder rally past Hawks

ATLANTA (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points, Josh Giddey had 12 of his 17 points in the final period, and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-114 on Monday night. Dejounte Murray finished with 24 points and Trae Young had 23 points and […]
19 hours ago
Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam (43) drives past Boston Celtics' Derrick White during the first half...
Associated Press

Tatum has 31, Celtics beat Raptors 116-110 for 7th win in 8

TORONTO (AP) — Jayson Tatum had 31 points and 12 rebounds, Jaylen Brown scored 22 points and the Boston Celtics won for the seventh time in eight games, beating the Toronto Raptors 116-110 on Monday night. Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart scored 18 points for Boston after sitting out Sunday’s win at Brooklyn […]
19 hours ago
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev looks to make a save on a shot from Philadelphia F...
Associated Press

DeAngelo, Tippett help Flyers beat Avalanche 5-3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tony DeAngelo and Owen Tippett scored on the power play, and the Philadelphia Flyers held on to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Monday night. Tanner Laczynski, Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny also scored for the Flyers, who won for just the second time in 14 games (2-9-3). Carter Hart finished with […]
19 hours ago
UCLA players celebrates after defeating North Carolina to win the NCAA women's soccer tournament fi...
Associated Press

UCLA rallies past UNC 3-2 for second women’s soccer title

CARY, N.C. (AP) — Maricarmen Reyes scored a go-ahead goal off a rebound in the 107th minute and top-seeded UCLA rallied past North Carolina 3-2 on Monday night to win its second women’s soccer championship in program history. UCLA (22-2-1) trailed 2-0 late in the second half before scoring two goals in the final 10 […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Kent State head coach Sean Lewis watches as his team warms up before an NCAA college footbal...
Associated Press

AP Source: Kent State’s Lewis joining Sanders at Colorado

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kent State’s Sean Lewis is leaving the school after five seasons to become new Colorado coach Deion Sanders’ offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday night. Lewis will be the first prominent hire by Sanders, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity […]
19 hours ago
Giroud, Mbappe help France beat Australia 4-1 at World Cup