France top Group E after Ecuador draw

03:47, Jun 26 2014
Switzerland fan
A Switzerland fan arrives at the National stadium to watch his team play Ecuador.
Ecuador fans
Fans of Ecuador cheer before the start of the Group E match against Switzerland.
Header
Switzerland's Johan Djourou fights for the ball with Ecuador's Felipe Caicedo.
Contest
Gokhan Inler of Switzerland controls the ball against Juan Carlos Paredes of Ecuador.
Celebration
Switzerland's Haris Seferovic (9) celebrates his goal against Ecuador with his teammates
In Sync
Switzerland's Johan Djourou and Stephan Lichtsteinerf ight for the ball with Ecuador's Jefferson Montero.
Stadium
A general view as the teams line up prior to the Group E match between France and Honduras at Estadio Beira-Rio.
Karim Benzema
France's Karim Benzema shoots to score during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Protest
Roger Espinoza and Oscar Boniek Garcia of Honduras protest France's second goal.
Own Goal
Goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras scores an own goal, France's second, as he fumbles the ball over the line during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Penalty
France's Paul Pogba falls near teammate Antoine Griezmann after being fouled by Wilson Palacios of Honduras.
Blaise Matuidi
France's Blaise Matuidi tries to score a goal during their Group E match against Honduras.
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema of France celebrates a goal that came after the referee had blown full time during his side's win over Switzerland in Salvador, Brazil.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland fights off Mathieu Debuchy of France during the Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (top) celebrates with teammate Mathieu Valbuena their team's victory over Switzerland.
Xherdan Shaqiri
France's Karim Benzema (left) watches as Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri falls to the ground in front of him as they fight for the ball during their World Cup clash.
French fan
A French fan approaches France's Mathieu Valbuena and Yohan Cabaye after their 2014 World Cup Group E match against Switzerland at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Enner Valencia (No 13) of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal against Honduras at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Carlo Costly
Carlo Costly of Honduras celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Group E match between Honduras and Ecuador at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates after scoring a goal past goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras during their 2014 World Cup Group E football match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia comes up with a novel way to celebrate after scoring a goal against Honduras.
Juan Carlos Garcia
Juan Carlos Garcia of Honduras controls the ball past Antonio Valencia of Ecuador during their clash at the World Cup.
Felipe Caicedo
Felipe Caicedo of Ecuador challenges Laurent Koscielny of France during their World Cup Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (second right) reacts after missing a chance to score against Ecuador at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Walter Ayovi
Walter Ayovi of Ecuador reacts after a 0-0 draw with France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Oscar Bagui
Oscar Bagui of Ecuador controls the ball against Loic Remy of France during their Group E World Cup match.
Walter Ayovi
Ecuador's Walter Ayovi fights for the ball with France's Moussa Sissoko (right) during their Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Paul Pogba
France's Paul Pogba (centre) fights for the ball with Ecuador's Cristian Noboa (right) during their 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro.
Granit Xhaka
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka (left) is challenged by Hondruas defender Juan Carlos Garcia during their Group E match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus.
Josip Drmic
Switzerland's Josip Drmic (top) fights for the ball with Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri fires his second goal past Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri acknowledges the fans after his country's 3-0 victory over Honduras.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez falls into the net after clearing a shot by Jerry Bengston off the line.
Jerry Bengtson
Jerry Bengtson of Honduras (right) watches as his shot is cleared off the line by Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez.

France drew 0-0 with 10-man Ecuador to advance to the second round of the World Cup this morning, while the South Americans will be going home from the tournament.

In the other final Group E game, Switzerland defeated 3-0 Honduras to finish in second place and join France in the knockout stages.

Ecuador was down to 10 men at Rio's Maracana stadium after Antonio Valencia was shown a straight red card in the 50th minute for digging his studs into the leg of French defender Lucas Digne.

France
THAT'S A DRAW: Bacary Sagna of France controls the ball against Walter Ayovi of Ecuador during their 0-0 draw this morning.

But Ecuador may feel upset that France centre half Mamadou Sakho was not shown a red card in the eighth minute when he appeared to elbow Oswaldo Minda in the face during a France corner.

Then, in a late incident off the ball, France forward Olivier Giroud jabbed his elbow into Gabriel Achilier, who was standing behind him.  

France coach Didier Deschamps made six changes to his starting lineup, knowing his side was all but assured of advancing.

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France came closest to scoring when Antoine Griezmann hit the post in the 47th and then missed a string of late chances as its much-vaunted attacked failed to live up to the hype generated by last Saturday's 5-2 win against Switzerland.

An inspired Ecuador went close in the 82nd when substitute midfielder Alex Ibarra broke down the right, cut inside centre half Raphael Varane, and saw his powerful strike beaten away by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.  

Moments later, France striker Karim Benzema played a one-two with Giroud but stroked a casual shot that goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez easily saved.  

Dominguez had an outstanding match, denying substitute Loic Remy with a brilliant leaping save from the forward's curling shot in the 87th minute.  

Giroud should then have scored in injury time but planted a free header straight into Dominguez's hands.

After France had hit the post, Ecuador almost took the lead in the 54th when Cristhian Noboa shot wide.

Ecuador kept pushing forward, knowing it had to win because Switzerland was coasting.

With more space, France pressured down both flanks and Benzema teed up Paul Pogba, whose shot was well blocked.

Benzema was getting on the ball much more and he sent Blaise Matuidi through the middle in the 62nd, but the midfielder placed his shot too close to the goalkeeper.

As time for Ecuador ran out, both sides went close.

Pogba headed wide from close range and Benzema shot straight at Dominguez after cutting in from the left.

Then, Edcuador's Michael Arroyo burst down the left but centre half Laurent Koscielny stood him up well and he shot wide.

Pogba still had enough energy left to thump a powerful shot narrowly wide, while Ecuador's last chance came from a corner as France defended desperately to prevent an unexpected defeat.

See below for play-by-play commentary. 

 

AP