Olivier Giroud struck against Poland to eclipse Thierry Henry's France record
Striker was goalless during triumphant Russia 2018 campaign
The 36-year-old has host of club and international and individual honours
The irony of Olivier Giroud claiming the France national team scoring record in a World Cup fixture won’t be lost on the nation’s football supporters.
Giroud was the goalless centre-forward of the French triumph at Russia 2018, stirring memories of the barren but pivotal contribution of Stephane Guivarc’h in the country’s first World Cup win 20 years earlier. Guivarc’h was never prolific in his country’s colours. The former Guingamp and Auxerre player’s first goal, on debut against South Africa, was also the last of a two-year, 14-cap international career.
It would be hyperbole to suggest Giroud’s strike on his first international start more than a decade ago ushered in a flood of goals. The left foot finish to provide the springboard for victory in Germany, nevertheless, turned on the tap for a steady, ongoing stream.
Poland kept fighting in the second half but were caught out on the counterattack as they committed numbers forward in pursuit of an equaliser, Mbappe sealing the holders' passage to the quarter-finals with a clinical finish from just outside the area.
The 23-year-old striker adorned the French victory by scoring a sensational second goal in added time but Robert Lewandowski managed to get a consolation strike for Poland from the penalty spot, converting his second attempt after spurning his first before a re-take was ordered.
Published By Claude B Djaquis