The world champions jinx has been broken. Not since 1998 in Paris has the holders of the world cup won their first match at the showcase, Brazil’s win versus Scotland and Brazil again in 2006. France were handed Australia again just like in Russia 4 years ago, so they can’t complain about lack of knowledge of their opponents. In terms of squad depth I don’t think anyone can match the French, Deschamps started without in form defenders like Saliba and his go to defender Varane but still managed to see out this one.
Not without a Saudi like scare at the start of the match though. Craig Goodwin with a well taken side foot past Lloris. You see, Australia isn’t quite big on soccer as it is cricket and rugby so in the past they have to make do with expatriate players and those born outside the land of OZ. Goodwin is a refreshingly different, born in Adelaide and plays there too. Lucas Hernandez’s ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) tear may have contributed in the build up but take nothing away from the finish.
If I get injured I would certainly be happy to see my brother coming to my place. Theo Hernandez was awesome on the left side of ATTACK AND DEFENSE although he didn’t have much defending to do , the socceroos were that poor after they scored. Look, there is no doubting the gulf in class between the two nations, but at least go down trying you know. I didn’t see that. Just look at the way they lost the ball for Giroud’s first goal. Inexcusable at this level.
Clearly the flanks were a big issue for Australia, just cutting crosses(this is soccer basics here) was a big issue. They made Mbappe and Giroud look extraordinary. Lesson for them for the “easier on paper” ties with Denmark and Tunisia. The bright spots for Australia? The bravery of their coach Graham Arnold in going for an attacking lineup with virtually five forward players but given the opposition a little conservatism wouldn’t have hurt. For France besides Theo it was the fact that they got to see what their fringe players could do at the world stage. Marcus Thuram and Youssouf Fofana will give selection headaches to Deschamps as the tournament progresses(that is assuming they make it out of the group, nothing is for granted in life hey).