Search

World Cup Blog: 10-man Ecuador become first South American team to crash out

07:30 26 June 2014

Ecuador's Antonio Valencia vies with France's Clement Grenier. Picture: Press Association.

Ecuador's Antonio Valencia vies with France's Clement Grenier. Picture: Press Association.

LANDOV/Press Association Images

Group E: France 0 Ecuador 0

France's Paul Pogba on his knees dejected after a missed chance. Picture: Press Association.France's Paul Pogba on his knees dejected after a missed chance. Picture: Press Association.

France topped Group E with a goalless draw against 10-man Ecuador at the Maracana Stadium, as the Tri-colours became the first South American side to exit the tournament.

Already through to the knockout stages, having beaten Switzerland and Honduras, a much-changed Les Bleus side were out to prove they had the strength in depth required to be considered realistic tournament contenders.

Manager Didier Deschamps made six changes to his team, including a first-ever start for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin who only made the trip to Brazil after a late injury to Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier.

Ecuador occupied the group’s runners-up spot before kick-off, edging Switzerland through goal difference, but news filtered though of a Swiss goal in the group’s other fixture early on, immediately putting pressure on the South Americans.

As if the task wasn’t hard enough, the Tri-colours were forced to play much of the second half a man down after captain Antonio Valencia was controversially sent off for a two-footed challenge on Lucas Digne.

But what appeared to be a harsh decision from an Ecuadorian viewpoint actually seemed to ignite Reinaldo Rueda’s men, who began to up the intensity going forward with the knowledge that only a win would keep their Brazilian adventure alive.

Although chances fell to both sides it was the two goalkeepers who had the biggest impact upon the final score.

Ex-Manchester United youngster Paul Pogba came closest for France eight minutes before the break but his goal-bound header was tipped over the bar by a theatrical Alexander Dominguez.

Moments later Ecuador striker Enner Valencia was denied by the outstretched leg of Tottenham shot-stopper Hugo Lloris at the other end.

Antoine Griezmann’s flicked volley was pushed on to the post by Dominguez two minutes after the break, before the Ecuadorian was called upon to deny a well-worked effort from Blaise Matuidi, just after the hour-mark.

The former bus conductor produced the stand-out performance of the night with his string of important saves for Ecuador, although Deschamps will no doubt question the quality of his side’s finishing – many a shot fired straight at the keeper.

Despite the high stakes, the South Americans appeared content with a draw, waiting until the 90th minute to bring on another centre-forward in the form of Felipe Caicedo – by which time Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri had completed his hatrick elsewhere against Honduras.

France will count themselves lucky to have finished the game with 11 men after two wild elbows seemed to make contact with their opposition.

Mamadou Sakho appeared to strike Oswaldo Minda in the face during a French corner just eight minutes in, while Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud jabbed his arm at Gabriel Achilier in an off-the-ball incident late on.

In a tournament so far averaging just under three goals a game, the lack of strikes made for a rather dull anomaly, but after resting a number of players, France should be able to add to their tally of eight in the knock-out stages.

They now face a second-round clash with Nigeria on Monday, despite the African’s 3-2 loss to Argentina earlier in the day.

Latest Ilford Sports News

11 minutes ago
Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend).

Find out what Michael Clark and six academy players have got up to over the past week

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

We look back on the last 12 months for the three rival club in our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out this week

13:00
Latest news from the local rugby scene (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Highams club have no game scheduled for Saturday

12:00
Wanstead score a try against Ilford Wanderers earlier in the season (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Herons have the weekend off, but director of rugby says they are in a tussle at the top

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now