My Facebook memories today reminded me of July 11, 2018, and the hysteria of statuses I posted when Croatia beat England for a spot in the World Cup final. I was overcome with emotions along with thousands of others in Split who celebrated the win until the early morning hours, with flares and absolute chaos. I still get chills thinking about it, and it’s undoubtedly one of those moments in your life where you can recall exactly where you were and who you were with. And exactly how you felt.
And FIFA remembers it, too.
On July 11, 2018, a packed Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow hosted the World Cup semi-final match between Croatia and England. England was the first to score with a quick goal by Trippier and continued to dominate Croatia for most of the match. Ivan Perišić equalized in the 68th minute, bringing Croatia back to life and the potential of yet another extra-time finish on the horizon.
Croatia fans remember the nail-biter all too well, especially Mario Mandžukić’s goal in the 109th minute of extra time, today the most crucial goal in the history of the Croatia national team. From Perišić’s head to Mario’s strategic movement in the penalty area to finish far post in Jordan Pickford’s net for 2:1. And how could we forget the goal celebration where Croatia players piled on photographer Yuri Cortez.
On the 4th anniversary of Croatia’s most outstanding national team achievement, FIFA has published a video remembering the goal that sent Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final. And even one small detail we have missed while watching it live.
“One split second of feeling the opportunity is lost…
To the absolute jubilation of sending your nation to a #WorldCup Final,” FIFA writes in the caption.
The video shows Mario Mandžukić in focus and the disappointment on his face after Kyle Walker cleared Josip Pivarić’s cross. But then the play continued. Ivan Perišić passed the ball to Mandžo, who was left unmarked by Harry Maguire, who was likely feeling a bit of security after Walker cleared the first play.
Oh, how quick the game of football can be.
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