Yuri Cortez, a staff photographer with Agence France-Presse (AFP), was just steps from the pitch when Mario Mandzukic got the go-ahead goal and Croatia shocked England with a 2-1 victory Wednesday that advanced a nation of just over four million to a World Cup final against France. Mandzukic rushed to join teammates celebrating at the corner of the pitch.
“I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me,” Cortez told AFP. “They just kept coming towards me and they fell on me! It was a crazy moment, they were delighted. Then they suddenly realized that I was underneath them.”
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Cortez kept shooting while the soccer team celebrated, recording the jubilation up close and personal.
“Then they asked me if I was OK. Another one picked up my lens and another player gave me a kiss,” the photographer told his news agency.