World Cup results: France and Ecuador draw 0-0


France and Ecuador played their final match in the Group stage of the World Cup today in Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the end, neither team could score any goals as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

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The game was critical to the outcome of Group E, as mathematically none of the teams were eliminated from advancing to the knockout stage prior to the start of today’s games. In essence, Ecuador needed a win over France in order to advance in the tournament, while France only needed a draw in order to advance.

Early on in the match, Christian Noboa of Ecuador and Blaise Matuidi of France collided heads when they both went up to head the ball. The collision really set the tone for the match, as it was going to be a very physical affair.

Noboa was bloodied up afterwards, and was forced to wear a hair net before returning to the pitch.

After nearly 50 minutes of stalemate soccer that saw both teams fail to capitalize on multiple chances, Antonio Valencia of Ecuador was given a red card for going studs first into Lucas Digne of France. As Valencia was attacking on the wing of the pitch, Digne made a sliding challenge in an attempt to stop Valencia’s momentum. As Digne was sliding in, Valencia lifted his studs into Digne’s leg, which forced the referee to give him a red card.

From then on, Ecuador was a man down and in a hole. With France only needing a draw, all they had to do was keep possession of the ball, and not allow Ecuador to score on any counterattacks. France did just that, as Ecuador was unable to procure the much needed goal to advance in the World Cup.

With France winning the Group, they will move on to the knockout stage to face off against the Group F runner-up Nigeria. Switzerland, who was the runner-up in the Group, will take on Group F winners Argentina in the knockout stage.