Group E: Ecuador vs. France

  • 4 p.m. ET, Wednesday June 25
  • CBC TV, streaming online at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

France is going through to the next round after two decisive victories. They would lock up Group E with a win here, and thus meet the runner-up of Group F.

Ecuador can move on if they win and the Swiss lose. Or if they maintain a goal superiority over the Swiss and they both lose or draw in their respective matches (i.e., get the same number of points).

Impact players

Ecuador. Enner Valencia. He has three goals so far, and is always a threat to score more.

France: Karim Benzema. Ditto for Benzema.

What to watch for

France is taking nothing for granted. They’ll want the same pace and output by the whole team as the world has seen in the first two games.

Ecuador came from behind to beat Honduras. France is much stronger, so Ecuador will have to play hard the entire 90 minutes, and in the first half in particular.

They said it

"The way to read it is that we're going to have a lot of work in defence. — Ecuador’s defender Frickson Erazo speaking with FIFA.com.

“It is the same thing that we saw in 1998. While we cannot compare each changing room, I have a very focused group at present.” — France’s Didier Deschamps comparing his 2014 team to their 1998 World Cup-winning ways.

[Deschamps was captain of that 1998 team.]

The big number

8  The number of goals scored by France in their first two games, tying them with the Netherlands for most goals by one team to that point in the competition.

Obligatory fun fact

France has not lost a World Cup match against a team from South America since losing 2-1 to Argentina in 1978.