2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio Do Maracana – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
France -140, Ecuador +385, Tie +270
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -120, Under -109)
France looks to continue its impressive World Cup run when it wraps up Group E play Wednesday versus an Ecuador team with hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
France had little problem with Honduras to begin their World Cup quest, winning easily by a 3-0 score, and followed that up with a 5-2 pummeling of Switzerland. Ecuador began its World Cup with a 2-1 loss to Switzerland, but came back with a 2-1 victory over Honduras to give them three points that ties the country with Switzerland for second place in Group E. These teams last met in a friendly in 2008 that resulted in a 2-0 win for France.
Ecuador showed great courage coming back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Honduras with a pair of Enner Valencia goals, but they were still badly outshot 16-8, including 9-5 on goal. Ecuador did have a slight edge in possession at 51% to 49% and took 12 corner kicks compared to four corners for Honduras. But some key players picked up yellow cards, including goal-scoring hero Enner Valencia, as well as speedy midfielders Jefferson Montero and Antonio Valencia. Ecuador has committed 32 fouls in the World Cup, while their opponents have committed just 24 against them.
France star Karim Benzema has three of his team's eight goals so far in the World Cup, with one goal apiece for Olivier Giroud, Moussa Sissoko, Blaise Matuidi and Mathieu Valbuena. Although France throttled Switzerland, they did allow two goals after the 80th minute of that game and got out-possessed 57% to 43%. France did fire 22 shots though, with 16 of those shots on goal. That gives the club 42 shots for the tournament, with 26 of those on net. But Les Blues also has 29 fouls and four yellow cards during their two wins. And a silly yellow card in the 88th minute of a 5-2 match by Yohan Cabaye will keep him off the field for Wednesday's contest.