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

Grant SmithJul 13, 2018

Sam, a local from Southampton said it best: "We are playing very well in this World Cup and although it is going to be hard I am confident that we will reach the final, I have been dreaming all my life with this moment".

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates at the end of the World Cup semifinal match against England at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.

Not since the European Championships of 1996 had England reached the semi-final stage of any major football tournament and it was the first time they had made it that far in the World Cup since 1990.

"The all-round perception was that this is a new-look England who have changed their ways of punting long balls upfield but when we pressed them it turned out that they haven't", Vrsaljko said.

He said: "All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: 'OK, today we will see who will be exhausted.' They should be more humble and respect their opponents more".

There's nothing better, when people are writing you off and saying "you're not fit to wear the shirt", slagging people off, it's kind of saying: 'Well, there you go - have that back at you.' But we do it for ourselves as well.

The goal continued the side's astonishing success from set-pieces at the World Cup - they scored nine goals from set-pieces - the most by any team in a single tournament since 1966.

Click through the mini-gallery above to see pictures of Croatia's celebrations after they qualified for the World Cup final! The sound was eclipsed only by the joy that greeted Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor and the impromptu fireworks celebration in the wake of the final whistle.

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 12 hours, you'll be aware that England's World Cup dream is over after they were beaten 2-1 by Croatian in extra time. "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

"The more of these tests we can come through, the better, not just for now, but moving forward".

Having been knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland and failing to win a single match at the 2014 World Cup, optimism was not high heading into Russian Federation.

The script that said Croatia was exhausted and England would take advantage, seemed to play out early.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was delighted to have the chance to bury the pain of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

Croatia will effectively have played a game more than France, who also have an extra day to recover from their semi-final on Tuesday.

The Three Lions managed their 1-0 lead for more than an hour of playing time.

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