World Cup LIVE: France vs Ecuador

22:55: Round Up: Well, that was a somewhat disappointing performance from Les Bleus. Against a 10 man Ecuador, they created many chances, but didn’t score any goals. Having said that, let’s not get down about it, Les Bleus have still won Group E. A last 16 tie against Nigeria is what awaits France next, so let’s see how far they can go!

22:52: FULL TIME: France 0-0 Ecuador

22:50: Close: Sagna delivers a wonderful cross onto Giroud’s head, and the Arsenal strikers powers a header towards goal, but that man Dominguez is there again to make the save.

22:49: We are into 4 added minutes now, and this game is coming to a close.

22:47: Close: Pogba almost scores this time, as a wonderful drag-back takes him past one player, and then his shot is just narrowly wide of the post.

22:45: Close: Loic Remy cuts inside from the right and curls one towards the far corner, but Dominguez is there again to make a fantastic save. Man of the match by a distance.

22:42: Close: End to end stuff here, and Dominguez saves once again from Benzema after a quick French move!

22:40: Close: Ecuador come close again, in what may be their last chance. Arroyo beats Koscielny down the left, but his shot is wild and far wide of the goal.

22:37: Substitution: Loic Remy is on in place of Antoine Griezmann, who has had a decent game today.

22:35: Another update from Manaus: Switzerland are 3-0 up, thanks to a Shaqiri hat-trick. Ecuador need two goals as things stand.

22:33: Close: How have France not scored?! Pogba meets a cross at the back post with a free header with just the goalkeeper to beat, but he somehow heads wide!

22:30: I must say that I have been very impressed by Morgan Schneiderlin today. He has consistently broken down Ecuadorian attacks, and has been assured in possession so far.

22:28: Ecuador win a free kick after a cynical trip from Digne, but they completely waste it as they attempt a direct shot from over 30 yards. They need to do better really.

22:25: Substitution: Deschamps brings on Olivier Giroud in place of Blaise Matuidi. An attacking sub there from Deschamps.

22:23: France really pressing now. Benzema’s shot has been deflected out for a corner, which is cleared by Noboa.

22:21: Close: Brilliant chance for Matuidi. In almost a carbon copy of his goal against Switzerland, Benezema plays Matuidi through, but this time his shot is straight at the goalkeeper.

22:19: Substitution: Mamadou Sakho comes off, to be replaced by Raphael Varane.

22:17: Close: France almost score! Benzema pulls the ball back to Pogba, who shoots at goal, but it is wonderfully blocked by a diving Noboa!

22:15: Ecuador have actually improved after going down to 10! They break once more, as Montero takes on Koscielny, but he just runs out of space.

22:12: Close: Ecuador should have the lead! The ball is pinched in midfield by Noboa, who is eventually played through on goal, but he looses balance in front of goal and fires wide.

22:09: RED CARD: Antonio Valencia. After a long delay during which Digne was treated, the referee shows the Ecuador captain a straight red card. It was a nasty tackle, but perhaps a straight red is a little harsh there. 

22:08: Antonio Valencia goes into a challenge with Digne with his studs up, and the French player looks really hurt here and may have to come off… it’s a red for Valencia!

22:06: Hits the woodwork: France within inches of scoring! Schneiderlin wins the ball brilliantly in midfield, Pogba switches it to Sagna, who crosses for Griezmann, but his close range effort is tipped onto the post by Dominguez!

22:03: KICK OFF: We are back underway at the Maracana!

21:54: Well, pretty much nothing happened in that half! Bar a couple of chances for either side, it has been a scrappy affair, with the ball rarely leaving the centre third of the pitch. Let’s hope for a better second half!

21:47: HALF TIME: France 0-0 Ecuador.

21:45: We are about to reach half time here. There have been very few chances for either side in a rather subdued performance from Les Bleus. Ecuador’s need to score should make the second period a little more interesting.

21:42: Close: Now Ecuador come close! Ener Valencia climbs highest at the back post, over Lucas Digne, and heads towards goal from a few yards out, but Lloris is right there to make the vital save.

21:40: Close: Finally, a chance! From a free kick, Pogba sends a brilliant header towards goal, but it is saved acrobatically by Dominguez in goal for Ecuador.

21:37: Pogba has tried a few ambitious balls over the top of the Ecuador defence, and they have all fallen short so far. His range is not quite there.

21:34: France are almost undone again by Ecuador, once again from an attack down Les Bleus’ right hand side, but the final ball from Ecuador is poor once again.

21:32: More news from the other game: Switzerland are now 2-0 up. That really puts the pressure on Ecuador to score a goal or two against Les Bleus.

21:30: There is a stoppage in play here after a clash of heads between Noboa and Matuidi, but after the blood is sorted out we are back under way.

21:27: Close: After a hectic start to the game, the pace of the game has slowed a little. Having said that, Benzema almost scores from a header from Sagna’s cross, but he cannot get a proper meaningful contact on the ball.

21:24: Ecuador have grown into the game here in the last few minutes, perhaps realising that only a win will do as things stand, and Les Bleus are struggling to keep the ball.

21:21: Close: Matuidi gives the ball away very cheaply on the half way line and Ecuador break, but luckily for France Lloris is alert and quick off his line to smother the chance.

21:19: I have to say, the Les Bleus fans are in brilliant voice here at the Maracana. Even though they are outnumbered by the Ecuadorian fans, they seem to be the ones making all the noise.

21:16: Close: France come closest so far to a goal. The ball drops to Sissoko just outside the box, and as it falls he connects with a wonderful volley, but unfortunately it is right at the goalkeeper. Wonderful technique.

21:14: Les Bleus haven’t quite got their rhythm going so far in this match. Perhaps the new midfield need a little time to adjust to each other. Having said that, Ecuador have offered nothing so far.

21:12: Griezmann has France’s first real effort on goal as he cuts inside from the left hand side, but it dribbles wide of the goal and the goalkeeper is not called into action. Better from Les Bleus.

21:10: It looks like Sakho has actually thrown an elbow at an opposition player from a set piece. Fortunately for the captain, the referee did not see it. He could have been off there…

21:08: We are getting news that Switzerland have scored against Honduras through Shaqiri, so as it stands Ecuador are out. They will need to win as things stand.

21:05: France are pushing quite aggressively here, and when they attack down the wing with a full back, Ecuador actually have a 3 on 3 further up the pitch if they regain the ball thanks to their formation. Les Bleus have to be careful not to be hit on the break.

21:02: France are on the front foot right away here, with Digne in particular attacking high up on the left hand side. France will be offensive today. 

21:00: KICK OFF: We are underway in the Maracana!

20:56: We are very close to kick off now here at the Maracana, and the teams are just about to emerge from the tunnels and sing the national anthems. Kick off imminent…

20:53: Possible Permutations (2): Also, if France can avoid being beaten by 3 goals or more, they will almost certainly top the group. This is crucial, as the group winner faces Nigeria in the next round, while the runner up faces a match against Argentina…

20:50: Possible Permutations (1): Whilst it is possible for Les Bleus to get knocked out after today’s matches, realistically France have nothing to worry about. They sit on 6 points, with Switzerland and Ecuador both on 3, so France would have to lose to Ecuador, and Switzerland would have to beat Honduras for there to be any chance of France being eliminated. More importantly, Switzerland have to create an 8 goal swing to top France in terms of goal difference, and Ecuador 6, which is almost impossible to do.

20:45: Team Reaction: As expected, Didier Deschamps has made a lot of changes to the starting lineup to face Ecuador. Morgan Schneiderlin makes his first Les Bleus start after some impressive training performances, while Sagna and Digne come in for the rested Debuchy and Evra. Koscielny is in in place of Varance, who has not recovered from a stomach bug, while Pogba and Griezmann, who were left out against Switzerland, return to the starting XI.

20:41: France team vs Ecuador: Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Sakho, Digne- Matuidi, Pogba, Schneiderlin- Griezmann, Sissoko, Benzema.

20:38: Ecuador team vs France: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W. Ayovi, E. Valencia, Minda, Arroyo (c), A. Valencia.

20:35: Welcome one and all to another Live Commentary of Les Bleus in action at the World Cup! The first two performances, a 3-0 win over Honduras and a 5-2 drubbing of Switzerland, have French fans dreaming again. Can Les Bleus continue their brilliant run of form against Ecuador? Let’s get right into some team news…

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