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FIFA WC 2018: Photographer becomes part of Croatia World Cup goal celebration

By Chitrangada
Croatias Mario Mandzukic and his teammates fall over a photographer while celebrating their second goal against England in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday

Moscow, July 12: When Croatia scored the goal that took them into the World Cup final on Wednesday (July 11), an AFP photographer unwittingly became part of the celebrations as he was buried under a pile of joyous players.

FIFA World Cup Page | Photo Gallery | Mandzukic sets up final with France | As it happened

2018 FIFA World Cup: One night in Zagreb

After Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to give Croatia a 2-1 win against England in the World Cup semi-final, he ran to a corner of the pitch at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to share his joy with his teammates.

"I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me," said photographer Yuri Cortez, who was positioned next to the pitchside advertising boards. "They just kept coming towards me and they fell on me! It was a crazy moment, they were delighted. Then they suddenly realised that I was underneath them," said Mexico City-based Cortez.

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Quick as a flash, he picked up his camera and took some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats' joy. "Then they asked me if I was OK. Another one picked up my lens and another player (Domagoj Vida) gave me a kiss."

Croatia, who have reached the final for the first time in their history, will play France on Sunday.

Goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic helped Croatia to a come-from-behind win over England in the semi-finals on Wednesday (July 11). The result saw Croatia reach a first World Cup final, where France await in Sunday's decider in Moscow.

It was France that ended the nation's previous run at the showpiece tournament, winning their 1998 semi-final 2-1 before going on to claim the title.

Meanwhile, England will return to their Repino base near Saint Petersburg ahead of Saturday's third place play-off against Belgium, a repeat of their final group match.

Source: (PTI and OPTA)

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    Story first published: Thursday, July 12, 2018, 15:40 [IST]
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