Without Edinson Cavani (calf injury), Uruguay lacked the one-two punch that has struck fear into opponents. Luis Suarez was largely on his own and wasn’t a factor.
France went ahead in the 41st minute when Griezmann served a free kick from 30 yards away. Varane made a crossing run and met the ball in the heart of the penalty area, flicking a header to the far corner of the net.
In the previous four matches, Uruguay had conceded one goal – the lowest figure in the tournament.
The French barely escaped the half with the lead. Uruguay delivered several dangerous balls into the box and, in the 44th minute, Martin Caceres’ header of a free kick seemed like a certain equaliser.