World Cup - Group E
EcuadorEcuador0FranceFrance0

World Cup: Ecuador 0-0 France

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at the Maracana
World Cup 2014: Ecuador 0-0 France highlights

France could not maintain their prolific start to the 2014 Fifa World Cup but still finished top of Group E following a goalless draw with Ecuador which eliminates the South Americans.

Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema and Loic Remy went close as the much-changed French were frustrated by an Ecuador side who had captain Antonio Valencia sent off.

But after impressive victories over Honduras and Switzerland, a point was enough to send Les Blues through to the last 16 and a meeting with Nigeria in Brasilia on Monday.

Although the full-time whistle was met with jeers by sections of a crowd baying for more goals from a tournament that has already delivered so many, France looked perfectly content.

Didier Deschamps made six changes to his starting line-up and, while France lacked a finishing touch, they looked no less organised or physically imposing than in their previous two games.

With Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Morgan Schneiderlin and Paul Pogba among those to come in, Les Bleus illustrated a strength in depth that could prove vital in the knockout stages.

The danger France pose going forward - constantly interchanging attacking positions and pressing high up the pitch - has led many to install them as title contenders and the way they controlled possession, probed for a breakthough and defended as a team was impressive.

But they seemed to be playing within themselves and clear-cut openings were scarce. Pogba's header was tipped over the bar by Alexander Dominguez and Moussa Sissoko volleyed straight at the goalkeeper, before Enner Valencia drew a sharp save from Hugo Lloris at the other end.

The match became more stretched after half-time and Griezmann's volley was pushed on to a post by Dominguez before Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia was dismissed for a late challenge on Lucas Digne.

Ecuador responded positively, Cristhian Noboa wasting a glorious opportunity after Enner Valencia's break, but France then showed more energy and cranked up the pressure.

Pogba had a powerful drive blocked, Blaise Matuidi was denied by Dominguez after a neat exchange with Benzema and Pogba somehow missed with a free header from close range.

Lloris was forced to repel Alex Ibarra's strike before Dominguez thwarted Benzema, who linked well with substitute Olivier Giroud but could not score his 10th goal in nine international appearances.

Giroud, fellow replacement Loic Remy and Pogba all tried to force a winner, only for Ecuador to hold the 1998 champions to a stalemate that will give them little cause for concern.

France coach Didier Deschamps: "I'm satisfied, we have finished first in our group, we are qualified for the knockout round and all is well.

"My team selection was not by chance and it's important that all players get into the rhythm. Now we have five days to prepare for our game against Nigeria.

"Ecuador had a team with 10 players in front of us defending well, we had an enormous number of chances and we are disappointed we were not as effective as in our previous matches.

"Some people thought we were the kings of the world after beating Switzerland but Ecuador showed they have qualities, and Argentina had a difficult match against Nigeria."

Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda: "It is quite unfortunate everything that happened. I am very respectful of the referees and these issues are water under the bridge - there is nothing to be done.

"We lost an important man and we suffered from it. It's quite unfortunate some of the decisions made by the referee did not favour us but that's in the hands of the people who have to analyse the performance of the referee.

"This has been a short tournament for us, we paid the price for that first match when we lost against Switzerland."

Ecuador captain Antonio Valencia was red carded during the game against France for this challenge on Lucas Digne
Antonio Valencia is the first man to be sent off for Ecuador at the World Cup
France defender Lucas Digne lays on the ground after a challenge from Ecuador's Antonio Valencia
There have been red cards shown in five of France's last seven World Cup matches
Ecuador captain Antonio Valencia is red carded during the game against France
Antonio Valencia has been sent off in two of his last four games for Ecuador

Line-ups

Ecuador

  • 22Domínguez
  • 4Paredes
  • 10Ayoví
  • 14Minda
  • 2Guagua
  • 3ErazoBooked at 83mins
  • 16A ValenciaBooked at 50mins
  • 6NoboaSubstituted forCaicedoat 89'minutes
  • 13E Valencia
  • 15ArroyoSubstituted forAchilierat 82'minutes
  • 7MonteroSubstituted forIbarraat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Banguera
  • 5Ibarra
  • 8Méndez
  • 9Rojas
  • 11Caicedo
  • 12Bone
  • 17Ayoví
  • 18Bagüí
  • 19Saritama
  • 20Martínez
  • 21Achilier
  • 23Gruezo

France

  • 1Lloris
  • 15Sagna
  • 17Digne
  • 22Schneiderlin
  • 21Koscielny
  • 5SakhoSubstituted forVaraneat 61'minutes
  • 19Pogba
  • 14MatuidiSubstituted forGiroudat 67'minutes
  • 10Benzema
  • 18Sissoko
  • 11GriezmannSubstituted forRemyat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 3Evra
  • 4Varane
  • 7Cabella
  • 8Valbuena
  • 9Giroud
  • 12Mavuba
  • 13Mangala
  • 16Ruffier
  • 20Remy
  • 23Landreau
Referee:
Noumandiez Doue
Attendance:
73,749

Match Stats

Home TeamEcuadorAway TeamFrance
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home12
Away21
Shots on Target
Home2
Away9
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home17
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ecuador 0, France 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ecuador 0, France 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Walter Ayoví (Ecuador) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Carlos Paredes.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Felipe Caicedo (Ecuador) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (France) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bacary Sagna with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (France) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jorge Guagua (Ecuador).

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Alexander Domínguez (Ecuador) because of an injury.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Ecuador. Felipe Caicedo replaces Christian Noboa.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Pogba (France) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Loïc Remy.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Loïc Remy (France) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Laurent Koscielny (France).

  15. Post update

    Enner Valencia (Ecuador) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (France) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Paul Pogba (France) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

  18. Booking

    Frickson Erazo (Ecuador) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Jorge Guagua (Ecuador).

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil32107257
2Mexico32104137
3Croatia31026603
4Cameroon300319-80

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands330010379
2Chile32015326
3Spain310247-33
4Australia300339-60

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia33009279
2Greece311124-24
3Ivory Coast310245-13
4Japan301226-41

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Costa Rica32104137
2Uruguay32014406
3Italy310223-13
4England301224-21

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France32108267
2Switzerland32017616
3Ecuador31113304
4Honduras300318-70

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Argentina33006339
2Nigeria31113304
3Bos-Herze31024403
4Iran301214-31

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany21106244
2USA21104314
3Ghana201134-11
4Portugal201126-41

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium22003126
2Algeria21015413
3Russia201112-11
4South Korea201135-21
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