World Cup: Croatia players crash into photographer, kiss him in goal celebration – FIFA World Cup – Russia 2018
Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner against England not only sent Croatia into a first-ever World Cup final, it also provided one of the stand-out moments of the 2018 tournament.
Match of the Day tweets So this is what happened when that cameraman was mobbed by Croatia’s celebrations
Latching on to Ivan Perisic’s nodded pass, Mandzukic lashed home from the near post to put Croatia 2-1 up, a lead it would not relinquish in extra time in Moscow.
The goal prompted wild celebrations, after fighting back from 1-0 down, having looked gone for all money in the first half after England’s Kieran Trippier curled home an exquisite free kick.
But those celebrations got carried away somewhat, as players mobbed Mandzukic, only for the weight of the steadily-increasing scrum saw the delirious players stumble over the photographers’ barrier.
The bulging mass of players fell on top of one unfortunate photographer — Agence France Presse snapper Yuri Cortez — who got pinned beneath Mandzukic and his compatriots.
Mario Mandzukic (centre, looking worse for wear) celebrates with teammates in the photographers’ area. (AP: Frank Augstein)
But the players managed to peel away, with the photographer — seemingly uninjured — helped up by Domagoj Vida, with the pony-tailed defender offering the snapper a big kiss for his trouble.
Mandzukic patted Cortez on the back, before shaking hands as he ran back onto the field of play.
“This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England,” Mandzukic said.
“We’ve played our hearts out throughout the tournament. I am happy with my performances so far but I am here for the team.
“We were like lions out there tonight and we will be the same in the final.”
Croatia mentor Zlatko Dalic — only appointed as the national team coach in October — said there was more to come from the men in red and white.
“We are deservedly in the final,” he said.
“What the lads played tonight is fantasy, they’ve made history. We haven’t said our last word, there is still one more game to go.
“God willing, we will be world champions.”