Ecuador 0 France 0
Ecuador’s World Cup campaign came to an uneventful end with a 0-0 draw against France, who topped thr group with 7 points from 3 games. Didier Deschamps, fully knowing his side were through to the next round, made 6 changes to the squad. Arsenal’s defensive duo of Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna got starts, while Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Southampton’s Morgan Scheiderlin got starting berths too.
Ecuador knew they had to rely on pacy counters to get past the French, who seem to be hitting top gear at the right time. France, blessed with a deep squad barely looked threatened from the start. France looked like a team full of confidence, with some neat play in the attacking front, quick interchanging and some quality pressing play. They barely squandered possession through the game.
Chances, however were few and far between against a committed Ecuadorian side. Paul Pogba’s header was tipped over the bar by Alexander Domininguez, before Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko could only volley straight at the keeper. Enner Valencia, top scorer for Ecuador, with 3 goals in the World Cup, forced Hugo Lloris into a top save minutes later.
With Ecuador searching for an all important goal, France were still looking dangerous. Real Soceidad winger Antoine Griezmann’s effort struck the post after deflecting off Domininguez. Manchester United winger Luis Antonio Valencia became the first Ecuadorian to be sent off at a World Cup after his challenge on Lucas Digne.
It did little to deter Ecuador, who really should have taken the lead when Dynamo Moscow midfielder Christian Noboa missed a great chance when being set up by Enner Valencia. France, sensing danger took matters into their hands and built up some pressure of their own. Paul Pogba’s effort was blocked before Blaise Matuidi’s shot was saved by Domininguez. Karim Benzeme then set up Pogba, whose close range header missed the target.
Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris was called into action and saved a shot from Alex Ibarra. Deschamps threw on Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy, but Domininguez was staunch. He saved a well worked move from Benzema. The substitutes and Pogba had more efforts.
Ecuador bowed out of the tournament, with France and Switzerland going through.
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