France injury woe mounts as Lucas Hernandez ruled out of World Cup 2022

France injury woe mounts as Lucas Hernandez ruled out of World Cup 2022

France defender Lucas Hernandez has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after rupturing his ACL just minutes into last night’s 4-1 win over Australia.

Hernandez, who started every game for Didier Deschamps’ side in the successful 2018 campaign, fell to the ground while attempting to challenge Matthew Leckie in the build-up to Craig Goodwin’s ninth-minute goal and had to be replaced by brother Theo.

The French Football Federation confirmed overnight that the Bayern Munich man’s injury is serious and that his tournament is over in the latest blow to France, who are already missing a host of key players.

Deschamps is without Presnel Kimpembe, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku and Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema in Qatar.

Better news was the encouraging performance of Theo Hernandez deputising for his brother, with the full-back excelling going forwards down the left flank and providing the cross for Adrien Rabiot’s equaliser.

The defending champions eventually ran out comfortable winners, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to move level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading goalscorer, while Kylian Mbappe opened his account for the tournament with a fine header in between.