Having all but secured top spot in the group, Didier Deschamps only used five starters from their match against Switzerland. Ecuador came into this game needing all three points if they wanted to have any chance of advancing into the next round, but from very early on it was clear that the French were going to dictate the pace of the match.

Through twenty minutes neither team created any real chances on goal, as France continued to hold possession, while the Ecuadorians tried to find their moments in which to counter. They found one on 33’ as Michael Arroyo found space on the left flank only to shoot it straight at Hugo Lloris instead of crossing the ball for the oncoming Enner Valencia. It was the only real chance that the Ecuadorians had up to that point as their counter attacks looked unconvincing fizzling out in the attacking third.

How weird the game of soccer can be though as the first thirty-five minutes saw almost no chances fall for either team, while the last ten saw both sides have a shot at taking the lead. France almost struck first on 38’ as a free kick from the left flank met Paul Pogba’s head, only to be parried over the bar by Ecuadorian keeper Alexander Dominguez. Ecuador then had a chance to grab a goal on 40’ as Enner Valencia’s header from 4-yards out was stopped by the leg of Lloris.

Coming into the match, Ecuador needed to match anything that the Swiss did against Honduras; so the news that “La Suisse” were leading 2-0 at halftime against Honduras surely was reverberating through the Ecuadorian locker room.

It was a rather horrendous start for Ecuador that saw their hopes of advancing surely squashed. The French nearly scored a minute in as a 50-50 ball saw them win possession in the midfield. Bacary Sagna was found with space out wide, where his in-swinging  cross met the oncoming Antoine Griesmann, only to have his shot beautifully saved onto the post by Dominguez.

Three minutes later it became an Ecuadorian fan’s worst nightmare as Antonio Valencia was shown a red card for a horrendous tackle on Lucas Digne. There were no real arguments made about the decision, as Valencia knew what his destiny was.

The game opened up from this point as ten man Ecuador would now have to push men up in order to find a winner. This gave the French numerous amounts of chances on goal over the next ten minutes. Despite none of them coming to fruition, the French were surely knocking on the door. Their biggest chance coming on 73’ when Paul Pogba found space on the back post, only to see his header go just wide of the Ecuadorian goal.

Ecuador did have some chances on the counter, their biggest opportunity coming on 82’ when Alex Ibarra’s shot from 8-yards out was saved by Lloris. France continued to pelt the Ecuadorian goal, but Dominguez did well to stay strong and deny them shot after shot. Olivier Giroud had one more glorious chance for France to find a winner as he was left wide open in front of goal, only to head the ball once again directly Dominguez.

As the final whistle blew, the score remained 0-0. Ecuador did well to stay strong after the Valencia sending off, but it wasn’t enough as they were sent home early. France, with the draw, takes first place in the group and will face Nigeria in the next round on June 30th.