Incredible pictures taken by photographer squashed by celebrating Croatia players 2 months ago

Incredible pictures taken by photographer squashed by celebrating Croatia players

This will get better

"Back in by Perisic, there's Mandzukicccccccc." And that was that. Heads in hands. England out. Easy to forget what that goal means for Croatia, their first ever World Cup final, after becoming suddenly aware of how far it is home and how beer-soaked your clothes are.

By the time I'd stood back up, the screen in Hyde Park showed a Croatian pile-on over an advertising hoarding. By the time they'd stood up to return to their half, I realised the jubilant Croats had celebrated on top of a photographer.

The Mexican snapper Yuri Cortez, who was working for AFP, was uninjured and captured some brilliant photographs.

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

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TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

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TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Yuri Cortez)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Mladen Antonov)

TOPSHOT - Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Credit: Mladen Antonov)

England were eliminated from the 2018 World Cup after a crushing late defeat to Croatia in the semi-finals.

Gareth Southgate's took the lead early in the game through a spectacular free-kick from Kieran Trippier, who curved the ball over the heads of two of Croatia's tallest players - Dejan Lovren and Mario Mandzukic - to nestle the ball into the top corner.

England controlled the game for long periods and had two clear opportunities to increase their lead, first through Harry Kane and then through Jesse Lingard.

Croatia equalised  via Ivan Perisic, who received a beautiful cross into the box. Marked by Kyle Walker, Perisic had a yard on the City defender and, as Walker dived to head the ball, toe-poked it past Jordan Pickford.

A crucial and devastating decider came in extra time. This time it was Mandzukic, who like Perisic capitalised on some sluggish defending, the most sluggish defending of England's entire World Cup campaign.

After the game, the Croatian squad had some brutal put downs for the English media and fans. Including Vedran Corluka, who when asked to speak to English journalists simply said "It's not coming home," and walked off.