The Croatian capital Zagreb turned red on Wednesday night as jubilant fans celebrated their team’s historic win over England in the World Cup 2018 semifinal in Moscow.
Thousands of Croatians wearing national red-and-white chequered jerseys poured into the city’s streets to mark the team’s outstanding achievement which saw them reach the World Cup final for the first time in history.
Zagreb’s main square exploded with joy and wild celebrations after Mario Mandzukic netted the winner in extra time to send his team into the July 15 final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium against France.
A huge crowd of fans who watched a television broadcast of the match unfurled a gigantic Croatian flag and lit numerous red flares as the party engulfed the city right after the final whistle.
The Balkan nation with a population of around four million people became the smallest country to advance to the World Cup final since 1950, when Uruguay, with a population of around 2.4 million that year, clinched the trophy.
The Three Lions got off to great start with Kieran Trippier breaking the deadlock in the fifth minute to give England a 1-0 lead from a free kick. However, this was not enough for the victory as Ivan Perisic scored an equalizer in the second half to ensure the sides were tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
In the end, Croatian striker Mandzukic slotted in a decider in extra time to book a spot in the final where his team will face France who beat Belgium 1-0 courtesy of a Samuel Umtiti header in their respective semifinal in St. Petersburg.