France's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their second goal with Ousmane Dembele.

Defending champions started their World Cup campaign with a win, as Olivier Giroud become France’s joint record scorer.

Olivier Giroud netted twice to become France’s joint record scorer as they fought back to put Australia to the sword, opening their World Cup defence with a 4-1 win in Group D on Tuesday, which silenced talk of a holders’ curse.

Australia had taken a stunning lead at Al Janoub Stadium when Craig Goodwin applied a super finish to Mathew Leckie’s cross after nine minutes, but France levelled when Adrien Rabiot headed home and Giroud’s tap-in gave them the halftime lead.

Kylian Mbappe’s glancing header in the 68th minute was followed by Giroud’s 51st international goal three minutes later, drawing him level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top marksman.

French coach Didier Deschamps’s side, who lead Group D after rivals Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0 earlier on Tuesday, ended a run of poor starts for World Cup holders after the previous three – Italy, Spain and Germany – all failed to win their openers.

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