2023 World Cup: Australian Masterclass Overwhelm France

World number one Australia weathered some initial resistance from France before they slipped into fifth gear and racked up a ridiculously lop-sided 8-0 win in a Pool A tie at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The Kookaburras, who missed on World Cup glory in the 2018 edition at the same venue after they outduelled in a shootout by the Netherlands in the semifinals, seized the initiative from the French via a first-quarter goal by Tom Craig. However, France fought resolutely and kept blunting out whatever was thrown at them by the Aussies.

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The closing stages of the second quarter was where Australia took the game away from France. The Kookaburras struck three times in four minutes via Flynn Ogilvie and a brace from Jeremy Hayward to ensure they held a comfortable 4-0 half-time lead. If France had comeback aspirations in the second half, Australia did not afford them any opportunities – the world number one outfit compounded the agony of France with Tom Craig scoring before Jeremy Hayward wrapped up his hat-trick as it appeared one-way traffic with Australia leading 6-0. Tom Craig completed his hat-trick in the closing moments of the third quarter before Tom Wickham rounded off the tally to cap off a massive win for the green-and-yellow brigade.

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2016 Olympic champions Argentina were made to sweat by lower-ranked South Africa before they rode on a Maico Casella second-half goal to sneak out a solitary goal win in Pool A.