FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Tuesday, July 10

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

  • France def. Belgium, 1-0 (WATCH: 90 in 90: France vs. Belgium)
  • 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)


Today’s Top Tweets:

  • @jtimberlake: I heard there’s a big game on tomorrow before our show… so I had a little chat with @TheO2. SOUND ON. Doors open at 630. #MOTWTOUR
  • @FOXSportsPR: France and Belgium are larger than life in the #WorldCup semifinals in New York City’s Times Square.

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith on what France did to win:

“France did an amazing job closing down Lukaku and De Bruyne. They were not as effective as they were against Brazil. Mbappe, what a player, with so much pace and technical ability. He was outstanding today.”

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on how good the game was:

“This Belgium team lost to a very good France team, and there are a lot of people that will look at this matchup and would be fine if this was the actual final of the World Cup. In this World Cup, where so much is about set pieces, ultimately this was decided on a set piece.”

Lalas says Pogba stood out for France:

“I thought Pogba was wonderful. His maturity and leadership that he’s show in this tournament –  juxtapose it to his club play. Sometimes form is fallacy, but he’s a different player with France, and different in this tournament, and a huge reason for the success of this team.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Ian Wright on France’s play:

“He [Pogba] was playing more for the team, getting back. We saw him doing headers, challenging Fellaini in the box. We saw him in around Kante, playing deeper because when the pressure started to come from Belgium, they went in and put bodies where they could deal with them.

“I thought in the end Belgium ran out of ideas. I don’t think someone like Hazard could have done any more. There were some great crosses in the first half. We were seeing Pogba doing work we don’t usually see him do. That’s why France won. They got that side of it and the attacking side as well.”

Smith says France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris led the team:

“He pulled three or four good saves off today. He put his hands and his head where it hurts. He was just outstanding from start to finish. He was awesome today. He commands from the back. He was talking to his backline constantly today and you need a leader like that. He’s a captain for a reason.”

Lalas on France’s defense stifling Belgium:

“France did a really great job about keeping them from getting out on a break where Belgium is so dangerous. De Bruyne had a few passes here and there, but he wasn’t as influential as we’ve seen him. And certainly Lukaku, who’s had a very good tournament, has been a fresh breath of air in the way he’s played, they were able to stifle him. This France defense — they feel it, they understand their roles very, very well. They’re in places to make plays and they got a little bit of luck, like everyone else. They’ve got a goalkeeper who’s going to make some big saves. That’s the recipe for success.”

FOX Sports game analyst Stu Holden on how France won:   

“I thought France showed a real maturity in this game. It was a performance that was fitting for a semifinal. It wasn’t this counterattacking style. It wasn’t them opening themselves up. But when they needed to, they defended well. They were organized defensively.

“I thought Paul Pogba was excellent the way he defended for his team. He wants to be on the ball. He wants to be creating. But today he was pulling out headers in his own box, and he was closing down in the field. And they still have Mbappe, Giroud and Griezmann, and guys who can win the game for you.

“I thought Belgium were poor tonight. Martinez, as much as we talked about his tactics against Brazil, I thought he got it wrong. They had no width on the left side. They were very predictable. They were giving the ball away in cheap positions, and, ultimately, they played right into France’s hands. And France deserved to be going to the final and they are a tough team to beat.”

Wright on if France cares who they face in the final:

“I don’t think so. We saw Pogba played fantastic. You know what you’re getting out of Kante. You’ve still got more to complement Mbappe and Griezmann. And the way Giroud played coming up against England, he’ll be happy to play against that style of defense, so you feel there’s still a lot more to come from France and they won’t be bothered who they play.”

Smith on France’s chances in the final:

“I don’t think France will fear anyone now. They’re full of confidence. They beat Uruguay and Belgium now. They’re improving every game defensively and offensively. They’re in the final. They don’t care.”

Lalas on who France would match up better with:

“I think they match up better against England.”

Smith on England’s attitude going into tomorrow’s semifinal with Croatia:

“I think they’re really confident. With Pickford, who’s making very good saves, the defense looks sound and solid. John Stones is looking confident and composed in the back. Jordan Henderson is a consistent player, very underrated. He doesn’t leave the defenders exposed. They’ve got Lingard and Sterling finding those holes, with Sterling running off the back shoulders behind the fullbacks. Then you’ve got Harry Kane who has six goals. They should be so full of confidence going into this game.”

Wright on England’s chance to win the whole tournament:

“The fact is the guys have given us, as Englishmen and Englishwomen, belief again in the English team, and that was the problem we had — we were pointing the fingers at the players, saying they’re not playing for the shirt. But now that’s changed and that’s why people are saying it’s coming home, and people have a team they can believe in.”

Smith on the change with England:

“The shirt has been so heavy for a number of years, and the players haven’t clicked. There’s been such a divide, and, also with the managers, too. Now there’s a team that’s unified. They really enjoy themselves. If they can win tomorrow, you never know what can happen in that final.”

U.S. WNT Coach Jill Ellis on how the U.S. team prepares for a repeat in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year in France:

“As coaches and players, you don’t have a rearview mirror. Everything is about what’s in front of you. Out there, we’re defending champions, but for us, it’s about attacking and winning a new world championship. This is a different team, different players, different system. But, ultimately, what it comes down to is these players just have to be hungry, and we have that. We’re going to do this again.”

Ellis on how the U.S. WNT avoids getting complacent like Germany did in this World Cup:

“Part of it is in the lead up and preparation. Bringing in new players, challenging the players with a new system. We are a group who always want to achieve more, which is the history and the tradition of this program. That’s a part of it. There are things I took away from this World Cup. I think Germany didn’t make use of transition as much was needed in this tournament. Set pieces. There’s always things you can take away, but it’s about being prepared and being mentally ready for the challenge.”

Ellis on the competition going into the 2019 Women’s World Cup:

“There’s global parity now. It’s making sure we are playing as many of those teams that have already qualified in the leadup and taking care of what we need to do in our preparation.”

Ellis on playing Brazil, Japan and Australia this summer:

“These are three very different teams with different systems. For us, playing against good competition, you get a lot of questions asked of yourself, and in doing so, you get answers. I think we’re the team to beat.”