Goalless draw leaves France top and eliminates Ecuador
Rio de Janeiro: France and Ecuador drew 0-0 in their final World Cup Group E game on Wednesday to send the French into the last 16 as group winners and eliminate their opponents due to Switzerland`s 3-0 win over Honduras.
Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez made two great saves to deny Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann but the South American side`s chances were dealt a mortal blow five minutes into the second half when captain Antonio Valencia was sent off after catching Lucas Digne as both men slid into a tackle.
Cristian Noboa missed a great chance for Ecuador soon after but, having started the day level on points with Switzerland, they never looked likely to find the win they needed and they escaped defeat only because of some poor French finishing.
France top the group with seven points and will play Group F runners-up Nigeria while Switzerland, who finished on six, take on Group F winners Argentina. Ecuador ended with four points to become the only one of the six South American sides not to progress, while Honduras lost all three games.