Despite putting up a heroic fight, Ecuador was eliminated from World Cup play Wednesday in a 0 – 0 draw with France. Ecuador needed a victory or tie from Honduras in its game with Switzerland to advance but didn’t get it, as the Swiss won 3-0.
Ecuador put up a ferocious defense against the French, who have emerged as one of the favorites in the World Cup, despite playing the last 40 minutes of the game with only 10 players. The short-handedness was the result of the dismissal of Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia for allegedly injuring the shin of Frenchman Lucas Digne.
Although the referee considered Valencia’s action to be intentional, replays were inconclusive and Ecuador players as well as coach Reinaldo Rueda insisted the shinning was unavoidable.
Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez played brilliantly, deflecting or catching a dozen of French shots on goal. Ecuador had several opportunities to score but could not convert.