France are held 0-0 by Ecuador at the World Cup but reach the knock-out stages as undefeated group winners while their opponents go out.

Lucas Digne was denied by the post and Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez made several good saves to deny the French a third straight win. But a red card for Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia harmed the fighting Ecuadorians who were down to 10 men for 40 minutes.

France were not as sharp as in their 3—0 over Honduras and 5—2 over Switzerland but topped group E with seven points for a last—16 date with Nigeria.

The Swiss leap—frogged Ecuador for second place, and a meeting with Lionel Messi’s Argentina, with six points thanks to a 3—0 against bottom side Honduras.

Ecuador (four) are the only South American team not to reach the knock—out stages as hosts Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Chile are all through.

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