France forces Ecuador to a 0 – 0 draw at Estadio do Macarana in Rio De Janeiro Wednesday, rendering the South Americans eliminated from the World Cup tournament.
Ecuador struggled after captain Antonio Valencia was sent off the field with a red card on the 50 – minute mark of the match, forcing the team to play with a 10 – man team.
France dominated in terms of possession as they achieved a 68% rate, followed with multiple attempts of scoring a point. However, Ecuador’s defenses were impenetrable as keeper Alexander Dominguez kept the French from netting a goal.
Dominguez made nine saves in the match, which was considered the highest so far in the 2014 World Cup.
“It’s been a very short tournament. We’ve paid for our bad performance against Switzerland at the start, knowing that we were going to be finishing off against France,” said Reinaldo Rueda, Ecuador manager in an interview in CBC Sports. “We tried to play our best football, but my players have had a long season and didn’t arrive at the World Cup in the greatest shape.”
Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps comments on BBC Sports: “I’m satisfied, we have finished first in our group, we are qualified for the knockout round and all is well.”
He further adds, “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.”
France finishes on top of Group E with 7 points, followed by Switzerland with 6 points. Ecuador collects 4 points while Honduras ends up on the bottom of the group with 0 points.
France will be pitted against Nigeria, who finished second in Group F, at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on Monday.