Ecuador 0 0 France
25th June 2014 at 21:00 GMT
Maracanã - Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Rio De Janeiro
Group E - Group Stage

France could not maintain their prolific start to the 2014 Fifa World Cup but still finished top of Group E following a goalless draw with Ecuador which eliminates the South Americans.

Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema and Loic Remy went close as the much-changed French were frustrated by an Ecuador side who had captain Antonio Valencia sent off.

But after impressive victories over Honduras and Switzerland, a point was enough to send Les Blues through to the last 16 and a meeting with Nigeria in Brasilia on Monday.

Although the full-time whistle was met with jeers by sections of a crowd baying for more goals from a tournament that has already delivered so many, France looked perfectly content.

Didier Deschamps made six changes to his starting line-up and, while France lacked a finishing touch, they looked no less organised or physically imposing than in their previous two games.

With Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Morgan Schneiderlin and Paul Pogba among those to come in, Les Bleus illustrated a strength in depth that could prove vital in the knockout stages.

The danger France pose going forward – constantly interchanging attacking positions and pressing high up the pitch – has led many to install them as title contenders and the way they controlled possession, probed for a breakthough and defended as a team was impressive.

But they seemed to be playing within themselves and clear-cut openings were scarce. Pogba’s header was tipped over the bar by Alexander Dominguez and Moussa Sissoko volleyed straight at the goalkeeper, before Enner Valencia drew a sharp save from Hugo Lloris at the other end.