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Hugo's France win group after Ecuador draw

Posted by Tottenham Hotspur on 25 June 2014  - 23:07

Hugo Lloris made a crucial late save as France battled out a goalless draw with Ecuador to secure top spot in Group E and book a last 16 date with Nigeria at the World Cup on Wednesday evening.

Hugo during Wednesday's match against Ecuador at the famous MaracanaHugo saves Enner Valencia's header in the first half

Our goalkeeper kept his second clean sheet in three matches at the celebrated tournament in Brazil, affirming his latest shutout by palming away a fine strike from Renato Ibarra eight minutes from time after the Ecuador attacker had shaken off his marker inside the area.

The South Americans finished the match with 10 men following the dismissal of Antonio Valencia, but they managed to test Hugo on a few occasions when they still had their full quota of personnel.

The 27-year-old stopper was out quickly to pounce on the ball ahead of onrushing attacker Enner Valencia 20 minutes into the game, before smothering a low Michael Arroyo cross at his near post a few minutes later.

He then got low to keep out a towering back post header from Enner Valencia shortly before half-time in Ecuador’s best chance of the first period.

That late save to deny Ibarra was his last meaningful action of the game, with Les Bleus topping the group unbeaten with seven points from a possible nine. They’ll face Nigeria, runners-up in Group F, in the round of 16 on Monday at 5pm.

The next Spurs interest in the competition is on Thursday night as Group H comes to a conclusion with Nabil Bentaleb’s Algeria taking on Russia and South Korea facing a Belgium squad that includes Jan Vertonghen, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele. Kick-off in both matches is at 9pm.