France v Australia: World Cup 2022 – live | World Cup 2022


Key events


Take a guess? Continue. That’s right, it’s warm and dry in Al Wakrah with temperatures around 20 degrees. Fans and players are cooled by the air conditioning in the stadium.

“As someone who has grown up on the reliable World Cup magic of Tim Cahill and is trying his best to forget the 2018 version of the Socceroos, I think the best I can expect from the lads is some fighting spirit and the frustration of the world champions as long as i want we can contain them Ezra Finkelstein there with an email that I think sums up the feelings of many Australian fans.

On Australian TV, the two lead analysts are former internationals John Aloisi and Craig Foster and they have just delivered an excellent tactical package detailing Graham Arnold’s game plan. Expect a very low block, long diagonal balls to Duke who is in one of the channels for his supporting attackers to feed off of him, and a reliance on Souttar from set pieces.

Just in case you’re just waking up in Australia and the action is starting to lighten up, a quick recap of what’s already happened in Qatar. In short: six teams, three goals, one save from penalties and the upset.

Simon McMahon has reached out to some mandarin pride and told me: “Australia’s Aziz Behich joined Dundee United this summer and tonight will become the first current United player to start a match in the World Cup final for, well, probably a short period of time. It’s not quite Malpas, Gough, Narey, Bannon and Sturrock on Mexico 86, but still. Harry Souttar also started his professional career with Tannadice, so go to United and go to Australia!

The Socceroos’ ties to Scotland run deep, very deep.

Referee: Victor Gomes from South Africa will whistle today. He oversaw the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Egypt, and received praise for reporting a bribe in a CAF Confederation Cup match.

Also worth noting is fourth official Salima Mukansanga, one of six female officials at this tournament.

South African referee Victor Gomes will be in charge of today’s final match between reigning champions France & Australia . He is assisted by compatriot Zakhele Siwela and Souru Phatšoane from Lesotho.

The Rwandan Salima Mukansanga has been appointed as the fourth official.

— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) November 22, 2022

France and Australia and sport, you say? That can only mean that Richie Benaud is chewing the fat in Île-de-France, in his iconic cream/bone/white/off-white/ivory/beige jacket. And a few elephants.

Of course, it’s only fair to share some French content as well.

Emma Kemp is our Australian eyes and ears on the ground in Qatar and she has been busy filing reports on all things Socceroo.

Australia XI

There are lesser-known names in Australian gold, but Graham Arnold has named an experienced backbone, starting with former Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan, Stoke City midfielder Harry Souttar, Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy and the combative leading Mitchell Duke.

How this XI threatens such a formidable opponent remains to be seen, but expect set pieces to be important. Souttar (198cm) has scored six goals in his 10 internationals and will be the center of attention when Australia are awarded a corner kick or an attacking free kick.

France XII

France’s injury woes are well reported, but without even taking a deep breath: Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Karim Benzema, Rafael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku, Didier Deschamps has designated an impressive starting eleven.

He’s gone for a youthful and attacking 4-2-3-1 set-up with pace to burn. Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe during the break.

Tonight’s game offers our first glimpse of Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah city, a little bit south of Doha CBD. The ground can hold 40,000 fans and was designed by the late Zaha Hadid.

“The resemblance of the Qatari stadium to a woman’s genitals may be unintentional, but I applaud it,” Holly Baxter wrote a few years ago. “With its glossy pink hue, its labia-like side appendages and its large center opening, the supposedly innocuous building (based on the design of a traditional Qatari dhow boat) was just asking for trouble.”

For her part, Hadid dismissed such suggestions as “ridiculous” and “shameful”.

I mean…


Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the eighth match of the 2022 World Cup France vs Australia from Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. This Group D clash kicks off at 10pm local time (6am AEDT/7pm GMT).

For the second consecutive tournament, France and Australia open their campaigns against each other. In Kazan, the eventual champions recorded a 2-1 victory four years ago with a late deviated winner. They expect a routine three-pointer tonight.

There will be few more notable mismatches throughout the tournament, at least on paper. France are World Cup holders and 2021 UEFA Nations League winners. Even without some notable absentees, Les Bleus can boast a team as deep and talented as any in the league, with a coach with a long record of service capable of combining a team with proven campaigners and the brightest prospects in the game.

Australia, on the other hand, is ranked 38th by FIFA and needed a 20-match odyssey to qualify, one of which ended in a penalty shootout victory over Peru. Only four members of Graham Arnold’s squad have more than 50 caps (half of the group have 10 caps or less), and only two are signed from clubs in one of Europe’s top five leagues. “I don’t know any of the players individually,” Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konaté said on Sunday.

France will look to Kylian Mbappé, a multi-million dollar man with proven World Cup pedigree, for inspiration; Australia to Celtic journeyman Aaron Mooy, one of six Scotland-based Socceroos.

“You can say that our players are not playing in the top leagues in the world and all their players are,” Arnold said this week. “But it’s about team spirit, it’s about getting 11 players – and 26 players – together in a family environment, making sure they’re buddies and have each other’s backs. Then you can achieve exceptional results.”

But as guaranteed as the result is, it still has to be earned, and France knows from bitter experience how a World Cup campaign can unravel – especially as defending champions. Besides, it suits Arnold’s character to tap into the “little Aussie warrior” trope. “We have the Aussie DNA,” he said. “We’ll go out there and fight, kick and scratch, do whatever it takes.”

There’s about an hour before kickoff, so feel free to spend that time sending an email. Or, if you haven’t jumped yet, tweet me @JPHowcroft.

France + Australia = Vaudeville Smash.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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