France v Australia: World Cup 2022 – live | World Cup 2022

What was I saying? That route is a long diagonal from Souttar to Leckie from left to right. On the touchline the Melbourne City flyer brings the ball down superbly, goes past Hernandez and clips a perfect teasing cross along the six-yard line for his opposite winger Goodwin to arrive onto and smash into the roof of the net. What a start!

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Here we go, the defending champions are off and running.

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There are fewer household names in Australian gold but Graham Arnold has named an experienced spine starting with former Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan, Stoke City centre-half Harry Souttar, Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy, and the combative, line-leading Mitchell Duke.

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Quite how this XI threatens such a formidable opponent remains to be seen but expect set-pieces to be important. 198cm Souttar has six goals in his 10 internationals and he will be the focal point whenever Australia get a corner or attacking free-kick.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/Socceroos/status/1595113946876637184?s=20&t=FOQcrY5XU6hu0gTnZ00VNw”,”id”:”1595113946876637184″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”443e675a-e3a3-4218-85da-2fd03bb1ad6c”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1669139629000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”12.53 EST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1669141255000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”13.20 EST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1669141256000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.20 EST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.20″,”title”:”Australia XI”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 22 Nov 2022 14.25 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 22 Nov 2022 12.53 EST”},{“id”:”637b1b158f0874ab9710e17e”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

France’s injury woes have been well reported but even without, deep breath: Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Karim Benzema, Rafael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, and Christopher Nkunku, Didier Deschamps has named an imposing starting XI.

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He’s gone for a youthful and attacking 4-2-3-1 set-up with pace to burn. Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe on the break.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FrenchTeam/status/1595116517468692480?s=20&t=FOQcrY5XU6hu0gTnZ00VNw”,”id”:”1595116517468692480″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”392e6e0c-146b-4a47-9cc5-99ffcd895832″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1669139629000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”12.53 EST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1669140818000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”13.13 EST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1669140819000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.13 EST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.13″,”title”:”France XI”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 22 Nov 2022 14.25 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 22 Nov 2022 12.53 EST”},{“id”:”637aee1b8f0874ab9710e05e”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the eighth match of the 2022 World Cup, France v Australia from Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. Kick-off in this group D clash is 10pm local time (6am AEDT/7pm GMT).

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For the second successive tournament France and Australia open their campaigns against one another. In Kazan four years ago the eventual champions ground out a 2-1 victory with a late deflected winner. They will expect a more routine three points tonight.

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There will be few more striking mismatches all tournament, on paper at least. France are holders of the World Cup and winners of the 2021 UEFA Nations League. Even without some notable absentees Les Bleus boast a squad as deep and talented as any in the competition, with a long-serving coach able to blend a side featuring proven campaigners and the brightest prospects in the game.

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By contrast, Australia are ranked 38th by FIFA and required a 20-game odyssey to qualify, one ending in a penalty shootout victory over Peru. Only four members of Graham Arnold’s squad have more than 50 caps (half the group have 10 caps or fewer), and only two are signed to clubs in any of Europe’s top-five leagues. “I don’t know any of the players individually,” Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konaté said on Sunday.

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France will look to Kylian Mbappé for inspiration, a man valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars with proven World Cup pedigree; Australia to Celtic journeyman Aaron Mooy, one of six Scotland-based Socceroos.

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“You can say our players aren’t playing in the top leagues in the world and all their players are,” Arnold said this week. “But it’s about team spirit, it’s about connecting 11 players – and 26 players – together in a family environment, making sure they’re mates and they’ve got each other’s backs. That’s when you can get special results.”

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But as guaranteed as the result looks ahead of time it still has to be earned, and France know from bitter experience how a World Cup campaign can unravel – especially as defending champions. Besides, it suits Arnold’s character to tap into the “little Aussie battler” trope. “We have got the Aussie DNA,” he said. “We will go out there and have a fight, kick and scratch, do whatever is required.”

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There’s an hour or so before kick-off so feel free to spend that time sending me an email. Or, if you haven’t yet jumped ship, tweet me @JPHowcroft.

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Key events

26 mins: Even when Mbappe gets behind his man, Atkinson, there’s cover in the massive frame of Souttar.

24 mins: Mbappe remains France’s attacking outlet but this time Leckie tracks back and Atkinson executes the interception. This has been an outstanding display so far from the Socceroos. Disciplined, hard-working, and full of belief.

22 mins: Duke wellies one from range after Rabiot again coughs up cheap possession in his own half but the Al Rihla whistles past Lloris’ left-hand upright. That was a fierce snapshot. France are not purring.

20 mins: France look threatening with the rondos in central areas with Griezmann orchestrating a couple of dazzling spells with Mbappe and Dembele but the ball breaks Australia’s way. Irvine then executes an old fashioned reducer on Tchouameni which is a delight to watch waved play-on. That was a bone cruncher.

18 mins: France again find an outlet wide on the left, Hernandez this time, but as is becoming a pattern, there is no penetration from the touchline and Australia get bodies behind the ball.

16 mins: Rabiot concedes a cheap turnover in midfield, Australia pounce, force the turnover, earn a free-kick, and settle the game down again. Rabiot again is at fault, this time for bringing down the charging Behich on the left.

The Socceroos look extremely composed and mature so far.

14 mins: Mbappe again gets the ball to his feet on the left but despite his regular threat there’s been no end product with Australia managing to crowd out the French when they get into the box.

@JPHowcroft re your advice “Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe on the break.”, is that specifically aimed at Giroud? Dig in and keep chugging Olivier!

— Neil McGwyre (@neilmcgwyre) November 22, 2022

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@JPHowcroft re your advice “Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe on the break.”, is that specifically aimed at Giroud? Dig in and keep chugging Olivier!

— Neil McGwyre (@neilmcgwyre) November 22, 2022

13 mins: Going back to the goal, that was a brilliant long pass form Souttar, superb control and skill from Leckie, then the dream winger’s cross. Goodwin’s finish was decisive and clearly the outcome of a pre-planned routine. All in all excellent football.

12 mins: Lucas Hernandez is replaced by brother Theo as Mbappe breaks again on the outside down the left. The resulting corner is dealt with eventually by Australia.

11 mins: To add injury to insult, France’s injury curse has struck yet again! Hernandez looks to have done himself a serious mischief, landing awkwardly as Leckie went through him in the lead-up to the goal. He limps off the pitch with the help of the physios, but that doesn’t look good at all.

10mins: Is it opposite day?

GOAL! France 0-1 Australia (Goodwin, 9)

What was I saying? That route is a long diagonal from Souttar to Leckie from left to right. On the touchline the Melbourne City flyer brings the ball down superbly, goes past Hernandez and clips a perfect teasing cross along the six-yard line for his opposite winger Goodwin to arrive onto and smash into the roof of the net. What to start!

Craig Goodwin fires the Socceroos into the lead!
Craig Goodwin fires the Socceroos into the lead! Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Craig Goodwin celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates
The perfect start for Australia. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

8 mins: France are happy to sit off and defend in a mid-block, giving Australia’s defense and Mooy plenty of time to pad their passing and pass completion stats. The Socceroos are comfortable in this holding pattern but don’t appear to have a clear idea of ​​a route to goal.

6 mins: That is until Mbappe skins Atkinson on the left. The first Tasmanian to appear at a World Cup doesn’t give up though and he has enough green and gold support to smudge the ball clear.

5 mins: Australia have settled nicely, winning a series of second balls and looking composed recycling possession through Mooy. A lack of engraving is inevitable but good signs nonetheless.

4 mins: Australia get a feel for the ball but it’s a bit congested in midfield and McGree tries a snapshot from 35m out that is dragged horribly wide. A good press wins the ball back high up the field but Goodwin can’t escape down the left.

2 mins: France on top from the kick-off. They enjoy 45 seconds of possession before Australia get a touch, and that includes Dembele skinning Behich down the right and clipping a cross over from which Mbappe earns a corner. The set-piece is flicked on dangerously but the Socceroos clear. Ominous start from the French.

Ousmane Dembele has an early shot blocked.
Ousmane Dembele has an early shot blocked. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Kick-off!

Here we go, the defending champions are off and running.

“Let’s get down to business” booms over the speakers as the players huddle. This is the real sound of Qatar, isn’t it?

SHOWTIME! #AUSvFRA pic.twitter.com/TiRKYiFCRX

— Adrian Arciuli (@Adrian_Arciuli) November 22, 2022

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Anthem time. France already with the early advantage.

Here they come, out of the tunnel, France in their beautifully crafted tricolor uniform of dark blue, white and red. Australia alongside them in gold jerseys, green shorts and white socks.

Conditions:

Have a guess? Go on. That’s right, it’s warm and dry in Al Wakrah with temperatures in the low to mid 20s. Fans and players will be cooled by the in-stadium air conditioning.

“As someone who grew up on Tim Cahill’s reliable World Cup magic, and tries hard to forget the 2018 version of the Socceroos, I think the best I can expect from the boys is some fighting spirit and to frustrate the world champions for as long as we can contain them.” Ezra Finkelstein there with an email that I reckon sums up the feelings of many Australian fans.

On Australian TV the two lead analysts are former internationals John Aloisi and Craig Foster and they have just delivered an excellent tactical package detailing Graham Arnold’s game plan. Expect a very low block, long diagonal balls to Duke standing in one of the channels to allow for his supporting attackers to feed off him, and a reliance on Souttar from set-pieces.

In case you’re just waking up in Australia and easing into the action, a quick recap of what’s already happened in Qatar. In short: six teams, three goals, one penalty save, and the upset of upsets.

Simon McMahon has got in touch with some tangerine pride, telling me “Australia’s Aziz Behich joined Dundee United in the summer and will tonight become the first current United player to start a game in the World Cup finals for, well, a wee while probably. It’s not quite Malpas, Gough, Narey, Bannon and Sturrock at Mexico 86, but still. Harry Souttar also started his professional career at Tannadice, so go United, and go Australia!”

The Socceroos’ links with Scotland go deep, very deep.

Referee: South Africa’s Victor Gomes will blow the whistle today. He overlooked the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Egypt, and received plaudits for reporting bribes in a CAF Confederation Cup match.

Also worth noting is fourth official Salima Mukansanga, one of the six female officials at this tournament.

South African 🇿🇦 referee Victor Gomes will be in charge of the last game today between the reigning champions France 🇫🇷 & Australia 🇦🇺. He’ll be assisted by countryman Zakhele Siwela & Lesotho’s Souru Phatšoane.

Rwandan 🇷🇼 Salima Mukansanga has been named as the fourth official. pic.twitter.com/KY4qtJBK47

— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) November 22, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/UsherKomugisha/status/1594958692675645440?s=20&t=VQNkGYxhWlx6dfDN7e0qgQ”,”id”:”1594958692675645440″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”854f09f1-846f-4cec-8ef6-f2243fa3bd9b”}}”>

South African 🇿🇦 referee Victor Gomes will be in charge of the last game today between the reigning champions France 🇫🇷 & Australia 🇦🇺. He’ll be assisted by countryman Zakhele Siwela & Lesotho’s Souru Phatšoane.

Rwandan 🇷🇼 Salima Mukansanga has been named as the fourth official. pic.twitter.com/KY4qtJBK47

— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) November 22, 2022

France and Australia and sports, you say? That can only mean Richie Benaud chewing the fat in Île-de-France, wearing his iconic cream/bone/white/off-white/ivory/beige jacket. And some elephants.

Of course it’s only fair to share some France content as well.

Emma Kemp is our Australian eyes and ears on the ground in Qatar and she’s been busy filing reports on all things Socceroo.

Australia XII

There are fewer household names in Australian gold but Graham Arnold has named an experienced spine starting with former Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan, Stoke City centre-half Harry Souttar, Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy, and the combative, line-leading Mitchell Duke.

Quite how this XI threatens such a formidable opponent remains to be seen but expect set-pieces to be important. 198cm Souttar has six goals in his 10 internationals and he will be the focal point whenever Australia get a corner or attacking free-kick.

And for those who would just like a graphic… pic.twitter.com/t9IxEjuwGO

— Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 22, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/Socceroos/status/1595113946876637184?s=20&t=FOQcrY5XU6hu0gTnZ00VNw”,”id”:”1595113946876637184″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”5c0004e7-2c81-4b08-b0a8-2e6fbb29012e”}}”/>

France XI

France’s injury woes have been well reported but even without, deep breath: Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Karim Benzema, Rafael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, and Christopher Nkunku, Didier Deschamps has named an imposing starting XI.

He’s gone for a youthful and attacking 4-2-3-1 set-up with pace to burn. Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe on the break.

The first 1⃣1⃣ of this World Cup 🫡🔥

🇫🇷🇦🇺 | #FRAAUS | #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/YZIAbizDOq

— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) November 22, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FrenchTeam/status/1595116517468692480?s=20&t=FOQcrY5XU6hu0gTnZ00VNw”,”id”:”1595116517468692480″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”3ffe24a0-c844-4b4e-99a0-f3989689140a”}}”/>

Tonight’s match offers our first glimpse of Al Janoub Stadium in the city of Al Wakrah, a smidgen south of Doha CBD. The ground holds 40,000 fans and was designed by the late Zaha Hadid.

“The Qatari stadium’s resemblance to a woman’s private parts may be unintentional, but I for one applaud it,” wrote Holly Baxter a few years ago. “With its shiny, pinkish tinge, its labia-like side appendages and its large opening in the middle, the supposedly innocent building (based upon the design of a traditional Qatari dhow boat) was just asking for trouble.”

For her part, Hadid dismissed such suggestions as “ridiculous” and “embarrassing”.

I mean…

Preamble

Jonathan Howcroft

Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the eighth match of the 2022 World Cup, France v Australia from Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. Kick-off in this group D clash is 10pm local time (6am AEDT/7pm GMT).

For the second successive tournament France and Australia open their campaigns against one another. In Kazan four years ago the eventual champions ground out a 2-1 victory with a late deflected winner. They will expect a more routine three points tonight.

There will be few more striking mismatches all tournament, on paper at least. France are holders of the World Cup and winners of the 2021 UEFA Nations League. Even without some notable absentees Les Bleus boast a squad as deep and talented as any in the competition, with a long-serving coach able to blend a side featuring proven campaigners and the brightest prospects in the game.

By contrast, Australia are ranked 38th by FIFA and required a 20-game odyssey to qualify, one ending in a penalty shootout victory over Peru. Only four members of Graham Arnold’s squad have more than 50 caps (half the group have 10 caps or fewer), and only two are signed to clubs in any of Europe’s top-five leagues. “I don’t know any of the players individually,” Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konaté said on Sunday.

France will look to Kylian Mbappé for inspiration, a man valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars with proven World Cup pedigree; Australia to Celtic journeyman Aaron Mooy, one of six Scotland-based Socceroos.

“You can say our players aren’t playing in the top leagues in the world and all their players are,” Arnold said this week. “But it’s about team spirit, it’s about connecting 11 players – and 26 players – together in a family environment, making sure they’re mates and they’ve got each other’s backs. That’s when you can get special results.”

But as guaranteed as the result looks ahead of time it still has to be earned, and France know from bitter experience how a World Cup campaign can unravel – especially as defending champions. Besides, it suits Arnold’s character to tap into the “little Aussie battler” trope. “We have got the Aussie DNA,” he said. “We will go out there and have a fight, kick and scratch, do whatever is required.”

There’s an hour or so before kick-off so feel free to spend that time sending me an email. Or, if you haven’t jumped ship yet, tweet me @JPHowcroft.

France + Australia = Vaudeville Smash.

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