Photographer gets dog-piled as Croatia celebrate winning goal against England

Lewis Collier
July 12, 2018

For England, it was the chance to return to the final for the first time since its legendary 1966 victory; for Croatia, it was a chance at its first World Cup final ever.

Kieran Trippier gave England the lead in Moscow, but Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia before Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute.

"We did not underestimate them". Following a clinical 1-0 win over Belgium in Tuesday's semi-final, Didier Deschamps' men have played a staggering 90 fewer minutes than their opponents in the knockout rounds.

"We're gutted", said Harry Kane, still on course to finish as the tournament's top goalscorer with six strikes in Russian Federation.

"So we can hold our heads up high but of course we know it's an opportunity that on another day we could have done even more", he added.

Mandzukic's movement was also a constant challenge for England's back three and John Stones, in particular, did not look as composed as he has done in previous games.

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"We let the centre-halves play". (Luka) Modric and (Ivan) Rakitic pressed their backline and we had the ball possession.

Southgate said: "The biggest thing is you could see [from the reaction of] the supporters, you can tell what the players have given and I can't ask anymore".

But the Three Lions struggled to dominate for much of the game, with Croatia in possession most of the time. "France, who are better than England, can hardly stop them", wrote Drazen Antolic.

"And this is exactly what they did - they enjoyed their football".

England fans look dejected after the FIFA World Cup, Semi Final match at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. Sportske novosti, the nation's only daily sports newspaper, was full of praise for the manager, Zlatko Dalic, claiming he has outdone every other Croatia coach by leading the team to the final. "They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players".

"I think now is the time for us to be strong as a group and take the time to reflect on the performance a little bit over the next couple of days". We've entered the final today. As the rest of the Croatian squad joined the towering Mandzukic on the sidelines, the entire mass of celebrating players tumbled over the advertising boards into a dog pile, with the unfortunate press photographers on the bottom. I am sure everybody will enjoy watching that match. We are ready for it. "I have huge respect for France".

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