How Russia Showed The World Defense Is The Way Of The Future

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you would have heard that the host nation of the 2018 World Cup, Russia, managed to send Spain packing by defeating them on penalties. Not many people, if any at all, gave Russia a glimmer of hope of advancing past La Roja, but here we are, awaiting a quarterfinal between Russia and Croatia.

Fox Watching: Ranking Each Announcer Pairing And How They Compare To ESPN’s 2014 Lineup

We are now done with the group stage of the 2018 World Cup and — aside from Thursday’s matches — it’s been an absolute treat. The tournament has thrilled, enraged, inspired and, most of all, confounded Fox World Cup announcers.

Despite the absence of the United States, the 2018 World Cup has been as engaging as any in recent memory. We didn’t just have one Landon Donovan-against-Algeria moment; we had three groups decided at the death. 

Could This Be Lionel Messi’s Last World Cup?

Lionel Messi and his Argentina side were staring down the face of elimination Tuesday against Nigeria. The game was locked at 1-1 until Marcos Rojo of all people decided to venture into the box and crash a volley home to give La Albiceleste the victory. Rojo's goal also gave us one of the best commentary calls of the World Cup, if not the best.

We Pick The XI Best Performers From The World Cup’s Second Round Of Games

The last round of matches have begun, so now we can take a look at who were the best players of the second matchday at the World Cup. If you ask us, this World Cup is moving way too fast. We wish it could last forever, but we live in a cruel, cruel world. 

We could easily have named Croatia's entire starting eleven for this week, but that would be too easy.

Fox Watch: Germany-Sweden Was Almost The Best Broadcast Yet, But Fox Screwed It Up In The End

The Germany vs Sweden match on Saturday was set up to be Fox’s best broadcast of the tournament.

The match came right after Mexico held on to beat South Korea, boosting interest in the game. The defending champion was on the brink of elimination against another recognizable European foe. And it was one of the few matches Fox actually had people in the stadium, with John Strong and Stu Holden calling the match from Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.

I've Now Spent A Small Portion Of My Life Watching Neymar Cry

“Crying and tears may be favored by natural selection because they bring about helping behavior by the spectator. This helping behavior is explained by the assumption that crying and tears ‘imitate’ some of the perceivable characteristics of a baby that has just been born.”  — Frans Roes

Fox Watch: Sadly, Dr. Joe Machnik Is Fox’s Best Analyst By A Long Way

When it comes to World Cup coverage, you expect to see the best analysts providing the best analysis. Unfortunately, Fox never got the memo that this is the biggest tournament in the world and skimped on analytical talent. Fortunately for Fox, they still have Dr. Joe Machnik.

Dr. Joe Machnik is a former player, coach and referee — you name it, he’s done it. Last fall he was elected into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame. And he’s easily the best analyst Fox has for the 2018 World Cup.

Welcome to Fox Watch, where we examine how Fox is covering the 2018 World Cup. 

The Greatest Goal Celebrations Of The 2018 World Cup

A goal in football is always followed by a wild celebration. These celebrations are often a player’s signature, and they include pointing to the sky and thanking the footballing gods, the always cool knee slide or the epic running explosion while screaming in unison with the fans. The World Cup goal celebrations at the 2018 tournament have been no different.

This year’s World Cup provides an opportunity for the planet to see a variety of signature celebrations. Below are some of the best World Cup goal celebrations that we’ve seen so far.

Coaches Corner: A Tactical Preview And Prediction For Argentina Vs Croatia

After a disappointing first match against Iceland, Argentina needs to get a result out of its match with Croatia on Thursda if it wants to keep its hopes of getting out of the group alive. For Croatia, three points would all but seal its ticket to the next stage. This promises to be a huge match, so here is everything you need to know ahead of the big game, plus a Argentina vs Croatia prediction.