FRANCE VS. AUSTRALIA
KAZAN, Russia: France play Australia in a Group C match in Kazan Saturday.
Where: Kazan Arena Capacity: 45,000 When: Saturday June 16, 1 p.m. Beirut time Referee: Andres Cunha (Uruguay)
France have competed at 14 World Cups and are bidding for their second trophy after winning the 1998 tournament on home soil, captained by current coach Didier Deschamps. They reached the final again in 2006, inspired by talismanic midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
Australia have qualified for their fourth World Cup in succession and fifth overall, with their best performance reaching the last 16 in the 2006 finals in Germany.
Australia’s 38-year-old striker Tim Cahill is bidding to score at a fourth World Cup, which would make him only the fourth player ever to do so.
The last time the teams met, France thrashed Australia 6-0 in Paris in 2013, triggering the instant dismissal of then-Socceroos coach Holger Osieck.
They have played four times, with France winning twice, Australia winning once and one draw.
France 6 Australia 0, (Paris, 2013). –