Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):
- Croatia def. England, 2-1, in Extra Time (WATCH: 90 in 90: Croatia vs. England)
- 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
- 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
- 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)
ICYMI Tuesday on FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT
Today’s Top Stories:
Today’s Top Quotes:
FOX Sports lead game analyst Stu Holden on Croatia’s victory:
“Agony for England, and there will be plenty of time to digest that, but now is the time to celebrate Zlatko Dalić and this Croatian group of warriors that have battled their way to a World Cup final. They have ridden Luka Modrić, Rakitić – all these players – and their golden generation has an opportunity to win a World Cup.”
FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone reacts to today’s match:
“England is coming home, and they’re not coming home with a trophy, but they’re coming home to a country that has been inspired by their play.
“Zlatko Dalic – just his 14th match in charge. He’s been on the job for nine months. All he’s done is take his nation, for the first time ever, to a World Cup final. Please start giving Croatia the respect they are due.
“Three straight wins in the group stage, then three straight matches in extra time. This is the first time in World Cup history a nation has won three straight matches that went to extra time.”
FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on today’s result:
“This Croatian team recognized the moments, and they capitalized on them. Split seconds, loss of concentration can change games, and that’s exactly what happened to England.
“You have two equally matched teams, you have fatigue mentally, and you’re going to switch off. Both goals that England let in are just moments where you don’t let someone know somebody is coming – you let somebody come across.”
Lalas on England’s overall World Cup performance:
“While it might not be coming home, this team is coming home – they are coming home winners. They are coming home having changed the culture and the perception and ultimately the future of this team.
“This is a team to look forward to in the future, because as we mentioned time and time again, this is a team of youth. This is a team of change, and they’re only going to get better.
FOX Sports studio analyst and former England women’s international Kelly Smith has pride for her national team:
“England should have their heads held very high. The nation fell in love with them and is proud of them. They didn’t make the final, but there’s a lot to look forward to with this England side. This is a great experience. They’re going to take this on the chin. This will hurt them, but this will make them grow and they’ll be back next tournament. They didn’t create enough chances in the second half. They had no real shots on target and that hurt them.”
“They’ve shown to wear those three lions on the shirt is a very proud moment, and all the fans in England are going to support the team moving forward.”
FOX Sports studio analyst Clarence Seedorf on how Croatia kept going:
“They had the mental strength to keep pushing. This Croatia team has shown this generation is a special generation.”
Smith on Croatia overcoming possible fatigue:
“You have to have full admiration for Croatia. They have something special. The fitness levels were unreal. I thought at the 60-minute mark, they would be tired, emotionally fatigued, but they just got stronger and stronger. Modric was taking over the game late. It was fantastic to watch because this team has done this and it’s fantastic to see.”
Seedorf says the seeds of this Croatia team were planted years ago:
“We always need to go back to where everything started with this nation. They were kids of parents who went to war, but that’s why you have the mentality, the fighting spirit in them. That team in 1998 inspired this generation. Coming all the way to the semifinals, and these guys pulling off something that was a big dream for them.”
Holden on Croatia having a shot to win the World Cup:
“We have to go back to the group they came out of, that people thought was one of the hardest groups in this tournament with Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria. They won all three of their games in that. They’ve have a couple of games in extra time, they’ve had penalty kicks. Whatever you want to say about this team, they have a will and a desire to win, unlike any other that I have seen in this tournament. Yes, they have players like Modric, Rakitic, and Mandzukic — you could probably say they have the best midfield in this tournament, although France is a close second. But the way that they have rallied together and fought moments and going down a goal in the semifinal tonight, it’s incredible.
“And Zlatko Dalic deserves a ton of credit. The coach that took over at the end of qualifying and only had three matches to get them to this tournament. And they have been riding the wave, they have a belief about them, they have a look in their eye, and they still have game changers, so it’s going to be an exciting final with France.”
Lalas on Croatia overcoming physical and mental fatigue to win:
“We’re waiting for this team to get tired, and evidently they’re only going to get tired on Monday. And it’s amazing to see, not just the physical part, but the mental part, because at times, they’re under it. And they’re able to come out of it. Luka Modric is able to get back into it. I’m looking forward to seeing that midfield battle with Pogba and Kante and Modric and Rakitic, and see how that all shapes up. Once Modric started getting into the game tonight, it spelled trouble for the opposition.”
Seedorf on what to look forward to in France vs. Croatia:
“If you look back in this tournament, we always speak about the great strikers, but football, we know, is about the midfielders, and we have Modric and Rakitic and Pogba and Kante in the final. These guys have set the tone for their teams, and I’m looking forward to it because they’re completely different in terms of playing style. So, it’ll be a really interesting battle.”
Holden and play-by-play announcer John Strong react to Croatia’s increased tempo after scoring the equalizer:
Holden: “England are out of sorts right now, and Croatia are just dialing it up. That goal has given them energy and life and belief.”
Strong: “This thing has been flipped on its head.”
Prior to the match, Lalas said England has not just won the hearts of their home nation, but the hearts of many around the world:
“It’s not just the nation that’s fallen in love with this team, a lot of people around the world have. You’re looking at one right here. They are a fun team to watch.”
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