Socceroos floored by France at World Cup

The shellshocked Socceroos are adamant they can rise from the World Cup canvas after being floored 4-1 by reigning champions France.

Australia went ahead when Craig Goodwin scored, and they largely bossed Les Bleus for the initial 25 minutes at Al Janoub Stadium.

But the Socceroos were then swamped by wave after ominous blue wave as France scored four goals in a 45-minute burst nearing pure football perfection.

"They are the previous world champions for a reason," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold told reporters.

"They were just so much bigger and faster and stronger than us."

Goodwin's ninth-minute strike came from a superbly executed blueprint: a swift counter-attack from defence, to the flank, to the net.

"To be at the World Cup, to play against the reigning champions and to score to take the lead was an incredible moment," Goodwin said.

Australia nearly went 2-0 up in the 22nd minute when a scorching 20-metre shot from Mitch Duke swerved just outside the right post.

Five minutes later, the flow turned into a tidal wave to France when Adrien Rabiot and stalwart Olivier Giroud scored twice in a five-minute span.

Giroud put the two-time winners in front after a blunder from Australian right-back Nathaniel Atkinson, one of six Socceroos on debut in Doha at the World Cup finals.

Atkinson butchered control of a routine pass and, in a twinkling, France had scored.

"I take full responsibility for the second goal," Atkinson told reporters.

The 23-year-old's dream of playing at a World Cup turned into a nightmare, toyed with by France megastar Kylian Mbappe.

"There's a a reason why he's earning $200 million a year and I am where I am," said the Scotland-based Atkinson.

The magical Mbappe completed the rout in the second half.

The PSG striker scored in the 68th minute and, three minutes later, delivered to Giroud who netted again to equal Thierry Henry's record for most goals for France, 51.

The French connection in attack was dynamic and decisive, overwhelming Australia's central defenders Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles, among the half-dozen cup final debutants.

"It's the biggest game of my life so far and I was pretty much nervous, packing it," the 24-year-old Rowles said.

But the Australians won't be packing it in.

They next meet Tunisia (Saturday 9pm AEDT), then Denmark (December 1, 2am AEDT), nations who played out a scoreless draw in the opening Group D game.

"When I got into the changeroom my head was down," Atkinson said.

"But the first people that came up to me were the experienced players ... they said the beauty is, in three days time we have got another game."

That theme recurred throughout the Australians, including substitute speedster Garang Kuol, who - aged 18 and 68 days - became the youngest Socceroo to play at a World Cup.

"It was a good taste to see the level that the (French) players were at," Kuol told reporters.

"You can see six foot four (inches) people that are as quick as me. That shows you the big difference."

Midfielder and leadership group member Jackson Irvine backed the character of Kuol and his young cohorts to rally.

"We have got two absolutely massive games coming up and we will react," Irvine said.

"It was an opportunity that got away from us. But now we know exactly what we have got to do."