FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Tuesday, June 26

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

ICYMI Monday on FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on the Argentinians’ attitude making it out of the Group Stage: WATCH

“First, you get a sense of relief, then belief. Yes, because they did what everybody expected, but certainly not the way they expected. This was a much better performance. It started with Messi scoring that goal. And it was a magical goal – those touches set the stage for this game. Then, it was about a lot of moments – risk – the way they played on the edge, in a physical perspective. Ultimately, they got the job done. You don’t care how you get out of the group, just get out of the group.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith on what set the Argentinian team apart against Nigeria:

“From the first, it really started with Higuain. Where he went, the team went. They started so well. There was a hunger and desire from this Argentinian side, passing the ball better, from side to side, playing forward, and more intent with the passing. Messi, with more high-speed running. It was a different side with a different mentality from the off. They pushed, and they were determined right to the end. To be able to get the goal with four minutes left was really special for them.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Ian Wright believes Argentina should change the team up against France:

“I wasn’t impressed with Higuain. Apart from the closing down, it’s a given that you do that, but he needs to get in there and get chances and finish those chances. There’s no way I’m starting Higuain in front of Aguero.”

Wright believes Argentina has a good chance to beat France now:

“It just feels like something is happening now. It’s taken them three games to get there, but it’s only going to be brilliant for the tournament.

“We saw night and day, from the first game to this game, Argentina team played with intensity and good quality. Mascherano was fighting in the midfield, winning stuff, getting second balls – that’s what you expect from Argentina, and then you get the ball forward to people like Messi.

“What we’re seeing here is the passion, the intensity, the skill – everything. This is synonymous with Argentina, and we haven’t seen it. This is what, when we started this World Cup, I expected so much more from them, and now we’ve got it, and this might be an Argentina side to be reckoned with.”

Wright believes France will lose to Argentina:

“[France] is disappointing. For the team, they’re able to put out and the way they can play, they’re very disappointing. They’re don’t seem to get it together as a unit. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of camaraderie between them. They should be beating teams. I think the way Argentina played tonight, [Argentina] will beat [France].”

Smith on Mascherano leading the Argentinian team:

“Messi was in and out of the game. He didn’t affect it as much as I would have hoped. Mascherano played really well. He was leading by example and closing down the middle. He should be the captain. He is so good when he gets the ball. He distributes it well. He led from the middle today. He really took charge today, and when he gets the ball, he loves to feed Messi, and they played well off each other.”

FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola praises the Nigerian team for their effort:

“There’s a lot to look forward to, if you’re a Nigerian fan. This young side has proven they can play with the best in the world. They’re fun to watch.”

Meola on Argentina’s second goal:

“Look at this ball in, and when you talk about attacking players and finishing, Marcos Rojo is not the name that’s at the top of your list, but it doesn’t get any better than that. What a great finish. He buries it. And the celebrations are on here.”

 Meola calls Lionel Messi’s first goal: WATCH

“There’s reason to believe, Diego Maradona, as Lionel Messi – just when you needed him – found a way to unlock this defense on an outstanding ball by Ever Banega. Look at the touch, look at the weight of the pass. Messi puts it in his path and buries it to the far post. What a great touch, set up, and shot by Lionel Messi.”

FOX Sports play-by-play announcer Derek Rae on Croatia’s tie-breaking goal: WATCH

 “Croatia back on course for a 100% Group Stage!”

 Smith on fans enjoying their World Cup experience:

“Fans make this World Cup – the jerseys, the hats, the scarves, the face paint, the passion.

“It’s vibrant, it’s fun, and they’re even keeping me up at night because the party goes on until about 5:00 AM outside my room. I’m not complaining, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”

Lalas adds:

“An experience at a World Cup is so much more than the actual games and the actual scores. It’s the people that you meet, especially people from different cultures.

“It’s those types of experiences that mean so much, and everybody is having them here. This city is on fire partying. Whether Russia is winning or not, it’s a fun place to be.”

Lalas says Mexico needs to finish the job tomorrow vs. Sweden:

“For Mexico, to come out [of the Group Stage] is no big accomplishment … They sit on this precipice right now where they don’t want to undo all of the good that has happened. Not just the way that they perceive themselves, and the way that Mexican fans perceive their team, but the way the world has looked at this team and said: ‘This is a fun team!’ You’ve got to finish the job here and the reality is that if Mexico loses to Sweden and German wins against South Korea by more than two goals, Mexico is going out of this tournament … Mexico has to finish this job.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Clarence Seedorf reacts to France’s scoreless draw with Denmark:

“Another poor performance. They have a lot of action going on, but in the end, nothing happens.

“They disappoint me because they have so much talent.”

Lalas expects to see a reinvigorated France in the Round of 16:

“At some point, they have to turn it on. We’ll find that some of these bigger teams will have a whole new mentality once they get to that Round of 16.”

Seedorf says that though France has talent, they’re still a bit too young to win the tournament:

“I don’t have those high expectations of this team yet. I think they’re just too immature yet to go all the way, but we’ll see.”

FOX Sports lead play-by-play announcer John Strong says French fans expect commanding performances from their team:

“The French do not have a word for winning ugly. It is not in their vocabulary.”

FOX Sports lead game analyst Stu Holden says changes in France’s lineup today are an opportunity for less experienced players to prove themselves:

“There are chances for some of these French players that haven’t started so far in this tournament to stake a claim to be a part of the roster going into the knockout stages.”

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone reacts to Peru getting a win in its first World Cup in 36 years: WATCH

“The emotions that overtake them – getting a win when they’ve already been eliminated, tells you again, the power of the World Cup.”

Lalas adds about Peru:

“It’s wonderful to see. Another one of these teams that’s going home that really acquitted themselves well and really left a lasting impression with the way that they played, the emotion that they brought.”

Smith wants people to lay off Neymar for his outpouring of emotion at the end of Brazil’s last match:

“I hate the fact that he’s been criticized for crying after, because no one knows what he went through for those two months. When you’re injured, you’re isolated, you’re lonely, you don’t know – you’re fearful you might not make it. No one knows how hard he’s been working to get back to full fitness. The pain that he’s had in his foot – to overcome that – those emotions come out because he was so thrilled to be there. I don’t like the fact that he’s been criticized for that. He’s only human.”

Lalas says VAR has been a positive during the World Cup: 

 “If I had to grade VAR in this tournament, I’d give it an A-. Just because you disagree with a decision doesn’t mean VAR isn’t working.

“I think VAR has made this tournament, and ultimately this game, better.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX and FS1)
  • 10:00 AM – Mexico vs. Sweden (FOX / Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo)
  • 10:00 AM – Korea Republic vs. Germany (FS1 / John Strong and Stu Holden)
  • 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 1:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX and FS1)
  • 2:00 PM – Serbia vs. Brazil (FOX / JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola)
  • 2:00 PM – Switzerland vs. Costa Rica (FS1 / Glenn Davis and Cobi Jones)
  • 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)