President Herv Kegal (at back) of the Croatian Cultural Society with young Benjamin Matic, second from left, and his brother Niko, at right, in the hall of St. Leopold Church on Gordon Head Road, where Croatian fans went crazy watching their soccer team defeat England 2-1 on Wednesday and advance to the World Cup final. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich Croatian fans go wild as team reaches World Cup final

Croatian Canadians gather in the Croatian hall Gordon Head

Local Croatian fans will gather once more on Sunday as their national soccer team defeated England 2-1 in the World Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

France, which defeated Belgium 1-0 in the Tuesday semifinal, will face Croatia at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

It’s Croatia’s first time reaching the final.

And you can bet there will be an even bigger crowd than the dozens who jammed the Croatian Cultural Centre hall on Wednesday of the Catholic Church St. Leopold Mandic, at 4081 Gordon Head Rd.

“I prayed when it was 1-1 that Croatia would win 2-1 in extra time,” said young Benjamin Matic, 10, was visiting from Vancouver.

Croatia scored the winning goal in the 109th minute by Mario Mandzukic.

Until then, the Gordon Head crowd were in a panic.

“It was stressful, I almost had a hard attack,” said Niko Zeba. “Benjamin told me before the game, we would win 2-1.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

VicPD notify public of sexual assault with weapon in Esquimalt

Officers ask residents to be vigilant while investigation continues

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Mommy’s Inside Voice: Santa is real

The holidays are a truly magical time of year

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

Most Read