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Doha (AFP) – Olivier Giroud was an integral a part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, however in Qatar the striker scored the lacking objectives in his match 4 years in the past in Russia.
On an evening when the insatiable Kylian Mbappe scored two good objectives, Giroud went down within the historical past books along with his 52nd purpose for Les Bleus – eclipsing Thierry Henry’s all-time document.
In a spherical of 16 draw billed as Mbappe towards Robert Lewandowski, it was the still-green, 36-year-old Giroud who put France on the trail to a 3-1 win with the opening purpose good earlier than halftime.
“Olivier has at all times been an essential participant. Despite the fact that he did not rating 4 years in the past with the title, he was at all times essential,” stated French coach Didier Deschamps.
“He had some robust occasions. As we speak he’s being rewarded as a result of he has typically been criticized. It isn’t simply any outdated document…past Thierry Henry that he broke.
“To attain so many worldwide objectives – he was there even earlier than I turned a supervisor, so kudos to him and his team-mates who helped him rating so many objectives.”
With the Brazilian favorites sweating over Neymar’s health heading into their spherical of 16 and Argentina’s hopes pinned on Lionel Messi, France’s assault appears set to final the course of a event frantic.
Deschamps was criticized for fielding a misshapen France facet that resulted in a scrappy efficiency towards Tunisia with qualification already assured.
However he felt it was a sound wager to maintain his key gamers recent in undermining circumstances in a contest the place – as France realized the onerous method at Euro 2020 – it might all be over with a quick dip. .
France needed to be affected person towards a Polish facet who, as anticipated, defended with depth and numbers, however as soon as Mbappe’s chic ball was performed previous Giroud to overhaul Wojciech Szczensy, there was solely just one end result.
Giroud’s profession was outlined by silencing his critics and on Sunday he surpassed Henry’s mark, which had been set since 2009, to turn into his nation’s prime scorer on his 117th look.
“Olivier is a superb chief, a fantastic instance for the youthful era,” stated French captain Hugo Lloris.
“In your profession, it would not matter if in case you have ups and downs, an important factor is to remain constant, keep robust in your thoughts within the essential moments and by no means hand over.
“It is one thing Olivier has finished in his profession and he is being rewarded. He actually would not wish to keep on this quantity, he desires so as to add a couple of extra.”
Giroud’s purpose lit the fuse for a French frontline who delivered the knockout blow with quarter-hour to go – Mbappe administering a brutal end simply contained in the field.
The sport, Poland’s first within the Spherical of 16 on the World Cup since 1986, was over however Mbappe was not completed – smashing a 3rd in stoppage time.
Whereas Mbappe has scored 9 objectives in 11 World Cup video games and 33 in whole for France, Giroud himself is eager to maintain his document to himself for a couple of extra years.
“Don’t be concerned, he (Mbappe) is not going to catch me anytime quickly,” Giroud teased.
© 2022 AFP
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