France and Ecuador played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday in a match that saw the sending-off of Antonio Valenciafor a reckless challenge on Lucas Digne.
The French only needed a draw to claim first place in the group, and it showed, as they didn’t have to show the aggressiveness and urgency that fetched them numerous goals in the first two matches.
The result moves France in the next round, where they will face Nigeria on June 30.
Ecuador were eliminated thanks to Switzerland’s 3-0 win over Honduras. The Swiss will play Argentina in the second round.
Alexander Dominguez made two great saves to deny Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, but the South American side’s chances were dealt a mortal blow five minutes into the second half when captain Antonio Valencia was sent off after catching Lucas Digne, as both men slid into a tackle.
Cristian Noboa missed a great chance for Ecuador soon after, but having started the day level on points with Switzerland, they never looked likely to find the win they needed and they escaped defeat only because of some poor French finishing.
France top the group with seven points while Switzerland finished on six. Ecuador ended with four points to become the only one of the six South American sides not to progress, while Honduras lost all three games.