Giroud, Mbappe help France beat Australia 4-1 at World Cup

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — France showed it can cope without its star striker at the World Cup.

In Karim Benzema’s absence, Kylian Mbappe scored one and set up the second of Olivier Giroud’s two goals to help the defending champions beat Australia 4-1 Tuesday.

Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s national record of 51 goals with a header from Mbappe’s cross in the 71st minute. Giroud, who failed to score at the last World Cup but did find the net at the 2014 tournament, can break Henry’s record when France faces Denmark on Saturday.

“It’s not just about chasing records but what he always does on the field,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “He’s a very important player for us.”

Moments before that strike, Mbappe headed in Ousmane Dembele’s cross from the right to start this World Cup as he finished the last — with a goal. He knelt with one hand behind his back and his finger on his forehead in a new celebration.

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