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.

Analysis

"I was disappointed at the Ecuador attitude. They are famous for their character and courage but they didn't show that. They stuck with two lines of four and didn't really have a go.

"I don't think France can win the World Cup the way they played today. I don't think they are my favourites, there are better teams in the tournament."

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.

Key facts

  • Only against Paraguay in 1998 (36) have France made more crosses from open play in a single World Cup game (32 tonight; since 1966)
  • France's last two World Cup clashes with South American teams have ended 0-0

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

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Ecuador

  • 22 Domínguez
  • 04 Paredes
  • 10 Ayoví
  • 14 Minda
  • 02 Guagua
  • 03 Erazo Booked
  • 16 A Valencia Dismissed
  • 06 Noboa (Caicedo - 89' )
  • 13 E Valencia
  • 15 Arroyo (Achilier - 82' )
  • 07 Montero (Ibarra - 63' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Banguera
  • 05 Ibarra
  • 08 Méndez
  • 09 Rojas
  • 11 Caicedo
  • 12 Bone
  • 17 Ayoví
  • 18 Bagüí
  • 19 Saritama
  • 20 Martínez
  • 21 Achilier
  • 23 Gruezo

France

  • 01 Lloris
  • 15 Sagna
  • 17 Digne
  • 22 Schneiderlin
  • 21 Koscielny
  • 05 Sakho (Varane - 61' )
  • 19 Pogba
  • 14 Matuidi (Giroud - 67' )
  • 10 Benzema
  • 18 Sissoko
  • 11 Griezmann (Remy - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Debuchy
  • 03 Evra
  • 04 Varane
  • 07 Cabella
  • 08 Valbuena
  • 09 Giroud
  • 12 Mavuba
  • 13 Mangala
  • 16 Ruffier
  • 20 Remy
  • 23 Landreau
Ref: Noumandiez Doue
Att: 73,749

Match Stats

Shots

12 21

On target

2 9

Corners

1 7

Fouls

17 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Ecuador 0, France 0.

90:00 +4:08 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Ecuador 0, France 0.

90:00 +3:31

Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

90:00 +3:15

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

90:00 +3:03

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

90:00 +1:07

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.

90:00 +0:52

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

90:00 +0:52

Foul by Jorge Guagua (Ecuador).

90:00 +0:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

89:35

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

88:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ecuador. Felipe Caicedo replaces Christian Noboa.

88:30

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

86:41

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.

84:43

Foul by Laurent Koscielny (France).

84:43

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

83:40

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.

82:57

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

82:25 Booking

Booking Frickson Erazo (Ecuador) is shown the yellow card.

81:59

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

81:59

Foul by Jorge Guagua (Ecuador).

81:48

Attempt blocked. Christian Noboa (Ecuador) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

81:43

Attempt saved. Renato Ibarra (Ecuador) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Juan Carlos Paredes.

81:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ecuador. Gabriel Achilier replaces Michael Arroyo.

80:23

Attempt missed. Michael Arroyo (Ecuador) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Noboa following a fast break.

78:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, France. Loïc Remy replaces Antoine Griezmann.

77:35

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

77:24

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:24

Foul by Renato Ibarra (Ecuador).

76:13

Offside, Ecuador. Juan Carlos Paredes tries a through ball, but Enner Valencia is caught offside.

73:30

Bacary Sagna (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:30

Foul by Renato Ibarra (Ecuador).

72:41

Attempt missed. Paul Pogba (France) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a cross following a corner.

72:22

Corner, France. Conceded by Oswaldo Minda.

72:06

Attempt blocked. Renato Ibarra (Ecuador) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

71:24

Attempt missed. Morgan Schneiderlin (France) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

69:17

Attempt missed. Paul Pogba (France) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.

68:29

Attempt missed. Michael Arroyo (Ecuador) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

67:44

Foul by Lucas Digne (France).

67:44

Renato Ibarra (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:49

Corner, France. Conceded by Enner Valencia.

66:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, France. Olivier Giroud replaces Blaise Matuidi.

66:03

Corner, France. Conceded by Jorge Guagua.

65:23

Antoine Griezmann (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:23

Foul by Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador).

64:07

Corner, France. Conceded by Frickson Erazo.

64:06

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

62:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ecuador. Renato Ibarra replaces Jefferson Montero.

62:12

Attempt missed. Moussa Sissoko (France) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Paul Pogba.

61:26

Attempt saved. Blaise Matuidi (France) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

60:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, France. Raphael Varane replaces Mamadou Sakho because of an injury.

59:38

Foul by Paul Pogba (France).

59:38

Walter Ayoví (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:41

Attempt missed. Karim Benzema (France) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin.

58:18

Corner, France. Conceded by Jorge Guagua.

57:16

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

57:13

Attempt blocked. Karim Benzema (France) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Digne with a cross.

54:21

Hand ball by Enner Valencia (Ecuador).

53:15

Attempt missed. Christian Noboa (Ecuador) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Enner Valencia following a fast break.

49:23

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

49:21 Dismissal

Dismissal Antonio Valencia (Ecuador) is shown the red card.

48:16

Delay in match Lucas Digne (France) because of an injury.

47:35

Lucas Digne (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:35

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Ecuador).

46:20

Attempt saved. Antoine Griezmann (France) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Bacary Sagna with a cross.

45:00

Second Half begins Ecuador 0, France 0.

45:00 +1:57 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Ecuador 0, France 0.

45:00 +0:16

Mamadou Sakho (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:16

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Ecuador).

43:52

Foul by Moussa Sissoko (France).

43:52

Juan Carlos Paredes (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:43

Attempt blocked. Antonio Valencia (Ecuador) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Noboa.

43:08

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (France) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin.

40:10

Attempt saved. Enner Valencia (Ecuador) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Michael Arroyo with a cross.

38:27

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (France).

38:27

Antonio Valencia (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:49

Corner, France. Conceded by Alexander Domínguez.

37:35

Attempt saved. Paul Pogba (France) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann with a cross.

36:56

Lucas Digne (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

36:56

Foul by Juan Carlos Paredes (Ecuador).

34:45

Attempt blocked. Christian Noboa (Ecuador) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Carlos Paredes.

31:02

Blaise Matuidi (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:02

Foul by Jorge Guagua (Ecuador).

29:01

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

28:00

Delay in match Christian Noboa (Ecuador) because of an injury.

27:30

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (France).

27:30

Jorge Guagua (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:56

Hand ball by Enner Valencia (Ecuador).

24:06

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:06

Foul by Michael Arroyo (Ecuador).

21:35

Attempt missed. Enner Valencia (Ecuador) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by Oswaldo Minda.

18:20

Morgan Schneiderlin (France) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:20

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Ecuador).

16:58

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

15:59

Delay in match Enner Valencia (Ecuador) because of an injury.

14:57

Attempt saved. Moussa Sissoko (France) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

13:49

Offside, France. Paul Pogba tries a through ball, but Moussa Sissoko is caught offside.

11:12

Laurent Koscielny (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:12

Foul by Michael Arroyo (Ecuador).

10:08

Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (France) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.

8:07

Lucas Digne (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

8:07

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Ecuador).

7:50

Moussa Sissoko (France) wins a free kick on the right wing.

7:50

Foul by Walter Ayoví (Ecuador).

6:58

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

6:09

Corner, France. Conceded by Jorge Guagua.

3:36

Moussa Sissoko (France) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

3:36

Foul by Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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