World Cup 2018

The photographer with snaps from within the Croatia pile-on

After the extra-time goal from Mario Mandzukic put Croatia 2-1 ahead, Mexico-based snapper Yuri Cortez got caught up in the wild celebrations.

Estados Unidos
The photographer with snaps from within the Croatia pile-on

Against all odds, Croatia, a nation of just over four million people, will be appearing in the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The squad managed by Zlatko Dalic were taken to extra-time for the third consecutive knockout match but a goal in the 109th minute by Mario Mandzukic gave them a 2-1 victory over England.

Yuri Cortez tomando fotos durante la celebración de Croacia.

Huge celebrations envelop photographer

Despite that decisive goal coming more than 10 minutes before the end of the match, Mandzukic and the rest of the Croatian players - including many of those on the bench - celebrated it with full gusto. They sprinted towards the corner flag and piled up on top of each other in the understandable euphoria after coming back from an early Trippier goal.

One of the photographers located in that corner at the time of the goal was Yuri Cortez, a native of El Salvador who settled in Mexico in 2010 for work reasons. The celebration didn't stop for him, and he didn't stop his work in spite of being amid a mass of Croatian bodies.

Esta es una de las fotos que tomó Cortez en el suelo.

In the excitement, Cortez was kissed by defender Domagoj Vida and received Mandzukic's apologies, but instead of pain, Yuri was happier than ever. He came out of the unexpected pile-on with arguably some of the best pictures of Russia 2018. See what you think of his photo sequence.