Halftime: Varane gives France 1
The goal prompted Uruguay to immediately spring to life. The Celeste had their best scoring chance of the half just moments before the interval when Martin Caceres' header forced a superb diving save from Hugo Lorris following Torreira's free-kick. The rebound fell for Diego Godin who fired his shot wide.
The winner of the match will set up a semifinal clash against the victor of Friday's other quarterfinal between Brazil and Belgium. Enditem
The Real Madrid defender glanced past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after Antoine Griezmann floated a free-kick into the box from the right side.
France started to move the ball with more fluency. Olivier Giroud met Benjamin Pavard's cross from the right at the far post by nodding into the path of Kylian Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward sent his looping header over the bar.
Uruguay had defended resolutely until that point and arguably looked more likely to score, despite France's dominance in possession.
Uruguay pushed France onto the back foot early and Stuani shot across the face of goal after receiving the ball on the left.
Griezmann's delivery from the resultant set piece was inch-perfect and Varane rose highest to head the ball into the bottom corner.
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A Raphael Varane header gave France a 1-0 lead over Uruguay at halftime of their World Cup quarterfinal here on Friday.
France finally broke Uruguay's resistance in the 40th minute after Rodrigo Bentancur hacked down Tolisso. The Juventus forward was shown a yellow card for the offense, meaning he will be unavailable in the semifinals, should Uruguay progress.
The South American team were dealt a blow before the match when striker Edinson Cavani was left out of the side, having failed to recover from a calf injury. He was replaced in the starting eleven by Girona forward Cristhian Stuani.
France also made one enforced change to the team that beat Argentina 4-3 in the round of 16, with Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso replacing suspended Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Despite dictating possession, France rarely looked like scoring as Giroud, Griezmann and Mbappe struggled to find pockets of space.