World Cup: Ibrahima Konate helps France to victory in opening game

NewsWorld Cup: Ibrahima Konate helps France to victory in opening game

Published 22nd November 2022

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate celebrated his World Cup debut in style by helping France to a 4-1 victory over Australia on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old earned just a third cap for his country in the Group D fixture at Al Janoub Stadium on an impressive opening night for the holders of the competition.

Konate completed the full 90 minutes in the heart of defence and also forced goalkeeper Mathew Ryan into a save late on from a France corner.

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Les Bleus dominated possession in the first half of the encounter but fell behind in the ninth minute thanks to a swift move from Australia.

Matthew Leckie’s low ball into the area from the right found the run of Craig Goodwin, with the attacker making no mistake to fire into the roof of the net.

Didier Deschamps’ outfit, though, scored twice in five minutes to give themselves the lead at the half-time interval.

Adrien Rabiot first headed home a Theo Hernandez cross before turning provider to allow Olivier Giroud to score a tap-in and record his 50th international goal.

Kylian Mbappe added to the scoresheet in the second period with France in control, guiding a header home from an Ousmane Dembele cross with a little more than 20 minutes remaining.

Giroud then rounded off the scoring on the night thanks to another header, Mbappe this time swapping roles to swing a delivery from the left into the six-yard box for the striker to seal the points.

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Konate’s France now enjoy early command of Group D after Denmark and Tunisia played out a goalless stalemate in the section’s other fixture of the day.

In Group C, meanwhile, Argentina suffered a shock 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia before Mexico and Poland played out a 0-0 draw.

Coming up

The next Reds representation in the tournament arrives on Thursday, with Darwin Nunez’s Uruguay kicking off Group H against South Korea.

Later in the day, a Brazil squad featuring Alisson Becker and Fabinho begin their bid for the trophy by taking on Serbia in Group G.

Published 22nd November 2022