It was not the start to the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign that Graham Arnold had envisioned, as Australia were swept aside 4-1 by a rampant France side.
Craig Goodwin opened the scoring in the ninth minute, but it was all downhill from there as Les Bleus proved why they are the reigning World Champions.
There were some decent performances among the Socceroos but for many, they know they can play better than that.
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Mat Ryan – 3.5
Got the Aussies into trouble when attempting to play out of the back which ultimately led to France taking the lead. Although he claimed some crosses, he didn’t make his first save until late in the game.
Nathaniel Atkinson – 2
Atkinson had the toughest task of any Aussie: keep Mbappe quiet. Unfortunately, he struggled against the superstar who burned him for pace and trickery time and time again. A barrage of crosses were also floated in from his side which led to several chances. Also gifted France their second of the game when caught in possession by Adrien Rabiot.
Harry Souttar – 5.5
Played probably the most beautiful pass of the game with a diagonal ball from the back out to Mat Leckie who assisted the Aussies’ opener. Unfortunately couldn’t quite make his aerial presence known off set pieces.
Kye Rowles – 4.5
Started off strongly and made some important challenges throughout, especially with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle to deny Mbappe a goal. But his lapses of concentration were punished heavily, as he lost Rabiot for France’s opener and missed Mbappe behind him for their third.
Aziz Behich – 4
Like Atkinson, had a difficult ask at keeping pace with the rapid Dembele. Had slightly better success than his counterpart at right-back, but still struggled. Failed to get his head to a cross which Giroud thumped home for France’s fourth. Slightly redeemed himself by clearing a Griezmann shot off the line.
Aaron Mooy – 4.5
Looked strong in the early stages as he pulled the strings in midfield, pinging balls all over the park. Unfortunately his lack of pace was exposed at times when transitioning and lost possession a worrying amount as the game continued. Copped a yellow card in stoppage time with a tackle out of sheer frustration.
Jackson Irvine – 4.5
Was made to work desperately hard out of possession throughout. Almost scored an equaliser for the Socceroos in the dwindling moments of the first half when his glanced header nicked the post and bounced to safety. Ran out of gas in the second half and began to chase shadows a little bit.
Riley McGree – 5
Fired a shot from 35 yards well wide and it was perhaps a sign of things to come. Struggled to get involved and connect the midfield with the attack. Almost had an assist when Irvine’s header came off the post but other than that, a relatively quiet game from the Middlesbrough man.
Mat Leckie – 6
Provided the assist for Goodwin’s opener after sending Lucas Hernandez for a hot dog (and to the treatment table). Did his best to be a disruptive influence out of possession but never quite made his mark.
Craig Goodwin – 7
Sent Australia into meltdown when he scored in the ninth minute with a perfect finish. Battled throughout and took up some good positions on the left but just never had the pace to beat Pavard. Had to cover plenty of ground going up and down too.
Mitchell Duke – 6
Had a thankless task of chasing several lost causes up front for Australia and clocked 7.5km on the odometer for his efforts. Was inches away from scoring a long-range screamer but the ball swerved away at the last moment. Unfortunately lost a number of aerial battles against Upamecano and Konate, but gave the Aussies a chance at winning the second ball. Picked up a late booking for a late tackle, purely out of frustration.
Jason Cummings – 4
The cult hero was unfortunately anonymous in his brief appearance off the bench.
Awer Mabil – N/A
Didn’t make much of a mark positively or negatively after coming on.
Garang Kuol – N/A
Officially our youngest-ever Socceroo at a World Cup, Kuol wasn’t able to make the desired impact.
Milos Degenek – N/A
Keanu Baccus – N/A