2018 FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Thursday, June 14

Today’s Results:

 Russia def. Saudi Arabia, 5-0

Today’s Top Stories:

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead World Cup studio analyst Alexi Lalas says today’s result will have the Russian fans happy:

“Russia, baby! I’m jumping on that wagon. They bagged five goals in the opener. This place is going crazy. Party tonight in Moscow.”

Play-by-Play announcer JP Dellacamera and analyst Tony Meola, who called Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, react to Russia’s huge win:

Meola: “Statement made by Russia. The past seven games now mean nothing.”

Dellacamera: “What a day for the host nation.”

FOX Sports lead World Cup studio host Rob Stone says today’s goal differential could be huge for Russia:

“Remember, the first two tiebreakers are goal difference and goals scored. Needless to say, they did themselves a solid tonight with that win.”

 Lalas agrees:

“Goal differential – they [Russia] recognized it, and they capitalized on – let’s be honest – an absolutely horrible Saudi Arabia in this performance today.

“This is exactly what Russia needed.”

Former Russia National Team manager and FOX Sports analyst Guus Hiddink says that Russia’s win and goal differential put pressure on Egypt:

“Egypt has a lot to do in tomorrow’s game [vs. Uruguay], because if Russia wins the Egypt game, it’s already over.”

Hiddink adds that Egypt should play Mo Salah vs. Uruguay tomorrow:

“It’s an important game tomorrow with this goal differential already from Russia. It’s a massive, massive game for Egypt. But besides that, everyone is talking about the big four: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar – I think Neymar even has to prove – and I think Salah has to prove to be the big man on the big podium for a longer period, starting tomorrow.”

Moises Munoz disagrees, and says Salah should sit out Egypt’s first game:

“I know everybody wants to see him play, but as a coach – maybe that’s why I’m not a coach – I wouldn’t risk him. I would just leave him for the next two games and just let him rest on this one.”

FOX Sports lead game analyst Stu Holden previews tomorrow’s big Spain-Portugal match and says he isn’t expecting much to be different for Spain despite a last-minute coaching change:

“I think they’re going out of their way, even right now as we speak, to show this isn’t going to have a big effect on this group. They’re having fun; they’re joking; they’re laughing.

“I don’t think that the style of play from the Spanish team is going to change. I think the biggest thing that we are going to see and that we are going to learn about Fernando Hierro is, how does he adjust this team in-game, making decisions on the fly.”

On this morning’s edition of FIRST THINGS FIRST, FOX Soccer analyst Cobi Jones reacts to Spain firing head coach Julen Lopetegui two days before the World Cup:

“When you have more controversy in the team before a big moment, it takes away, and it’s less likely that you’re going to have the success that you want.”

Jones says he expects Mexico to make it out of the Group Stage this year:

“I do think they will get out of the group. They always find themselves with Germany, which is a big issue, which makes it more difficult because most of the time they end up losing against Germany. So, it will be difficult, but with the talent that they have, they have the dos Santos brothers that are on the team, they have Carlos Vela that is part of this team, so offensively, I think if they have the ability to break down opposing sides, I think defensively it’s still going to be a bit of a struggle because I’m not sure the team defense is there yet from the full 11. You can’t put all that pressure on just the back line, especially if you’re going against the Germany side. That’s going to be extremely difficult.”

Jones says that Neymar, even at 90 percent health, makes Brazil a favorite to win this World Cup:

“I think Neymar is probably in the 90th percentile when we talk about health, and that is better than most. Let’s put it that way. You are going to have him on the field – even if he was at 70, 80 percent, they would have made sure that Neymar was on there. He’s that type of player when he’s on the pitch, no matter what, if you think he’s 70 or 80 percent, other teams are going to have to focus on him, so he could even open up room for other players. And, given the fact that I feel that he’s at 90 percent, and we’ve seen some of the goals that he’s made even now, he is going to change the game for Brazil, and they have become a favorite because he is on the field.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Coming Up:

 The first day of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ coverage continues into the evening with WORLD CUP NOW on Twitter, hosted by Rachel Bonnetta from Moscow’s Red Square. Later tonight, Fernando Fiore hosts the first edition of WORLD CUP TONIGHT, welcoming in global megastar Ibrahimovic. WORLD CUP TONIGHT premieres on FS1 at 11:00 PM ET and airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones on the FOX broadcast network.

Tonight’s Schedule (all times ET):

  •  7:00 PM – WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 11:00 PM – WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

 Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 7:00 AM – WORLD CUP LIVE (FS1)
  • 8:00 AM – Egypt vs. Uruguay (FS1)
  • 10:00 AM – WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 11:00 AM – Morocco vs. Iran (FOX)
  • 1:00 PM – WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 2:00 PM – Portugal vs. Spain (FOX)
  • 4:00 PM – WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 7:00 PM – WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 10:00 PM – WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)