France ease through to the second round

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France, having already basically qualified for the second round, seemed reasonably comfortable in securing a draw against Ecuador. Despite several chances in front of goal, they were unable to beat the Ecuadorian keeper Dominguez, with several superb saves denying Benzema, Griezman and co.

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Ecuador rarely looked to threaten France, with star forward Enner Valencia failing to find his rhythm after an early knock. A red card for Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia saw Ecuador’s challenge snuffed out, and with it any chance of progressing to the second round.

In the other match, Switzerland made amends for the capitulation against France with an Xherdan Shaqiri hat trick, sending them through the second round and condemning Honduras to three straight defeats.

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Shaqiri’s first came from a superb long range effort after 6 minutes, with some soft defence allowing him to break through to score his second in the 31st. He completed his hat trick in the 71st minute after Josip Drmic made a run down the left and setting up Shaqiri for his third. Drmic, impressed throughout and will be pleased with his assist on the second and third goal.

Switzerland now face the tough task of facing Argentina in the second round, who were impressive against Nigeria. France will face off against Nigeria, who will provide a similar challenge as Ecuador.

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