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Liverpool’s Konaté Starts for France in World Cup Victory

The center-back made an unexpected start for Les Bleus as they begin the tournament with a win over Australia.

France v Australia: Group D - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Injury-stricken World Cup title holders France began their defense of the cup with a strong start on Tuesday against Australia in Group D. Les Bleus beat the Socceroos 4-1 despite missing key players including as Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, and Paul Pogba.

Stepping up to the plate for manager Didier Deschamps were Olivier Giroud, who scored a brace, along with young superstar Kylian Mbappé who bagged a second half goal after Adrian Rabiot had opened the scoring in the first half.

From a Liverpool perspective, defender Ibrahima Konaté earned a spot in the starting lineup and played all 90 minutes. He even nearly got himself a goal late on in the match only to see his effort saved by Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan.

While their squad is not anywhere near full strength, even a struggling France has a front three of Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann, and Mbappé, so they were favored to come out on top against Australia, even if Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over Argentina proves that victory is not guaranteed in this tournament.

Denmark and Tunisia are the two other teams in France’s group D, making it the defending champions’ group to lose, particularly after those two countries played out a 1-1 draw.

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