Without influential captain Patrick Vieira and main striker Thierry Henry, they created little against the hard-working but unambitious Romanians.
Franck Ribery cut a ball back for Karim Benzema to cushion an 18-yard shot into Bogdan Lobont's arms on 62 minutes.
Romania barely threated but they were content with a point from the drab tie.
"Every match is now effectively a knockout match," France coach Raymond Domenech said. "I am neither pessimistic or optimistic."
Romania stifled a France attack including Lyon star Karim Benzema and Domenech critised their approach.
"We were playing against a team that didn't want to play, just wanted a draw."