Croatia players celebrating World Cup goal pile on photographer

Croatia players celebrating World Cup goal pile on photographer

Croatia world cup celebration photographer
Croatia players celebrate next to an AFP photographer Yuri Cortez after Mario Mandzukic scores their second goal REUTERS/Carl Recine

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

After Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to give Croatia a 2-1 win against England in the 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 AFP 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.

Quick as a flash, he picked up his camera and took some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats' joy.

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Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal (Photo: AFP/Yuri Cortez)

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Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal. (Photo: AFP/Yuri Cortez)

Croatia World Cup Photographer celebration 3
Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal. (Photo: AFP/Yuri Cortez)

Croatia defender Josip Pivaric celebrates up close after he and his teammates collapsed onto AFP
Croatia defender Josip Pivaric celebrates up close after he and his teammates collapsed onto AFP photographer Yuri Cortez (R) celebrates with teammates after Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) scored their second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia

"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.

Croatia World Cup photographer celebration 4
Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) offers to help AFP photographer Yuri Cortez after he fell on him with teammates while celebrating their second goal. (Photo: AFP/Yuri Cortez)

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Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (L) shakes hands with AFP photographer Yuri Cortez (C) after falling on him with teammates while celebrating their second goal. (Photo: AFP/Mladen ANTONOV)

Source: AFP/ng

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