FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Thursday, June 28

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

Today’s Top Stories


Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas believes England is going to regret not trying to win today against Belgium:

“I think England is going to rue that they’re not playing Japan. I thought it was about winning the game and establishing the winning mentality. The team that didn’t want to win the game went out and won the game, and the team who did want to win it, didn’t.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill believes England manager Gareth Southgate has already looked at playing Colombia and the rest of that side of the draw:

“[Southgate] had a look at this and he thinks he can beat Colombia You have to balance the loss of momentum versus when you finally look at the group and you see it. I don’t want to go too far down the road, but if you look again, he’s up against European opposition. If he can beat Colombia, then it’s Switzerland and Sweden. I think England thinks it can beat those as well.

“Overall, it’s a disappointment losing the game and momentum. But it’s essential you look at the group, and they think they’ve got a chance.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and former England women’s international Kelly Smith was disappointed in England’s substitutes:

“There’s not one player I can say who stood out moving forward into the next game.”

Lalas says Belgium is a team to watch through the rest of the tournament:

“I think through the Group Stage, Belgium is a big winner. And it confirmed a lot of people’s suspicion — this is a force to be reckoned with, but also, we know it has to be a slow burn. You don’t want to come out and waste everything in the beginning. I don’t think they have. They will have benefitted from resting players. They’ve got a good draw who they’re going to play in the next round. This was a resounding success for Belgium.”

Lalas on his favorite going forward:

“I like Uruguay. I think they’re a complete team.”

Lalas says Mexico matches up well against Brazil Monday in the Round of 16:

“Don’t tease me, Mexico. You got me all jacked up after those first couple of games and then you get that game against Sweden and you leave me hanging.

“When Mexico comes up against a team that is going to be much more defensive and doesn’t attack them … they struggle. The good part is, they’re coming up against Brazil, and that’s not in Brazil’s nature. Brazil is going to want to have the ball; Brazil is going to want to attack; and in doing so, they’re going to open up some of those spaces … I think this is a good matchup for Mexico.”

O’Neill disagrees:

“I think they’re lovely footballers, Mexico. I think they’re lightweight. I don’t see them really being able to punch past Brazil. I don’t think they’ve really got enough going forward.

“Brazil, who have been unimpressive so far, I think they’re just going to hit their stride.”

“I think [Mexico] is physically lightweight, and I think that Brazil are physically stronger.”

O’Neill says that although Argentina hasn’t been impressive as a team, they go up against a France team in the Round of 16 that hasn’t played to its potential:

“I think that they’re still struggling for real, proper form. I just don’t think that they’re good enough to go the whole way. Having said that, they’re playing against France, who also have struggled, despite the fact that they’ve got wonderful footballers at their disposal. I’m delighted Messi’s still in the competition. That’s the biggest excitement for me. I think he can still carry them.”

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone reacts to the morning matches and a wild World Cup:

“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, next thing you know FIFA fair play points are determining who moves on to the next stage.

“The script writers for this World Cup … they should be getting double pay.”

Lalas says he’s sad to see Senegal go:

“A team like Senegal – they will be missed. This has got to hurt, because they did next to everything they possibly could, and they entertained us along the way.”

O’Neill was unimpressed with Japan:

“There was a period in that game where they were actually out of the competition, and I didn’t think they were doing enough to try and win the game themselves, or at least get back into it. They have, I can’t say by default gone through, because they put the points on the board and they will say they deserved them, but certainly, rather fortuitous toward the end of that particular game.”

FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola praises VAR:

“For me, VAR has been outstanding. Because at least the referee, in these big instances, has the chance to take a second look. It hasn’t taken all that much time, and people can still argue about the call – that will never change – but at least they’ve had a chance to make a decision.”

O’Neill says Poland has vastly under-performed in this tournament:

“If you think there’s real fallout in Germany, imagine what it’s like in Poland. Poland came in here with high expectations, certainly of getting through this Group Stage and playing in the knockout stage.

“They’ve got so many good players who have just not stepped up to the plate.”

 Lalas on German coach Joachim Löw:

 “He is a legend, no matter what. He is the architect of one of the greatest German teams that we have seen, and one of the greatest teams that we have seen, but he is also the architect of the biggest failure ever at a World Cup for Germany.”

O’Neill says if Löw leaves the team, he’s earned the right to do it on his own terms:

“I think he’s earned the right now to just take his time, think about it, and if he decides to go, it should be on his terms.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Saturday’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 10:00 AM – France vs. Argentina (FOX)
  • 2:00 PM – Uruguay vs. Portugal (FOX)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)