Ibrahima Konaté made his World Cup debut tonight for what was only his third cap for France. The 23 year old was preferred over the likes of Joules Koundé and William Saliba in the absence of the injured Raphael Varane.

It was a proud night for the 23 year old as he paired up alongside his former defensive partner Dayot Upamecano. Things didn’t immediately go to plan however, as Australia shocked the defending champions with an early goal.

Matthew Leckie got away from Lucas Hernandez (who hurt himself in the process) and found Craig Goodwin at the backpost. Pavard had lost his man and the Adelaide United forward made no mistake, arrowing his strike into the top corner to put the Aussies in front.

Theo Hernandez came on for his injured brother at left back and that seemed to breathe a bit of life into the French attack. The Milan skipper bombed forward in support of Kylian Mbappe. He provided the inviting cross that Rabiot headed in for the equaliser.

The French didn’t hang around either, and within five minutes, they were ahead. Rabiot won the ball high up the pitch, and after exchanging passes with Mbappe, cutback to the veteran Giroud for a simple tap in.

The Soceroos almost made it 2-2 on the stroke of halftime when Irvine’s header came off the post. The 2-1 halftime lead was deserved though, as Deschamps’ men provided an excellent reaction to that initial setback. Mbappe was getting involved a lot more after a quiet start.

The PSG man would steal the show in the second half. He should have scored from Griezmann’s pick-out first half but made up for it in the 68th minute when he guided a header in off the post from Dembele’s cross. That goal handed Les Bleus the breathing space their dominance deserved.

Three minutes later, Mbappe was at it again, toying with Atkinson the right back, before crossing for Giroud to nod home his second goal. It was a historic moment as that goal saw the 36 year old equal Thierry Henry as France’s all time topscorer with 51 goals.

Giroud failed to score at the 2018 World Cup despite playing a crucial role in the side going all the way in Russia. He sacrificed a lot of himself for his teammates that tournament. It’s a different story this time though. Benzema’s unfortunate injury has handed him the chance to make history.

Les Bleus cruised through the rest of the contest, with Konaté putting in a solid display. He thought he’d scored when he powered a header goalwards from a corner in the 90th minute. Mathew Ryan produced a brilliant save to push it wide and deny the big man a dream debut goal.

All in all it was a solid night’s work for Ibou. Some of his passes went awry at times but he was generally on top of things when he had any bits of defending to do. He filled in well for Varane and I’m sure Deschamps will be willing to trust him again if Varane doesn’t recover in time for the next game.

Ibrahima Konaté vs Australia:

• Passing Accuracy – 88%
• Shots on Target – 1
• Final Third Passes – 14
• Accurate Long Balls – 5
• Dispossessed – 0
• Tackles Won – 100%
• Clearances – 4
• Interceptions – 1
• Recoveries – 6

Solid Debut 🇫🇷

It’s Denmark next on Saturday. Another victory will see the French seal qualification to the knockout stages, breaking the defending champions group stage hoodoo in the process. The Danes drew against Tunisia earlier today.


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