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Even though France won, Croatia fans are still celebrating how far the team has come

Last Updated Jul 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm PDT

(Taran Parmar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Millions of soccer fans were glued to their TVs this morning as France and Croatia went head to head to decide who would be the world’s best team at the World Cup.

After an exciting game, France came out on top with a 4-2 final score over Croatia, claiming their second ever World Cup title.

While it wasn’t the result they were hoping for, thousands of fans at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver are celebrating all the same.

“I’m happy–we’re number two!” says life-long Croatia fan Tony Peric. “We made it all the way and came in second. It’s a great win.”

He adds in order to watch the game at the Centre, he and his family had to arrive early this morning.

“I was here at 5:30 in the morning and there was a lineup down the block, over 2,000 people in the line that early in the morning.”

More than one thousand people gathered at the centre, a capacity crowd much larger than initially anticipated. Catherine Peric, another fan sporting the classic red and white checkerboard jersey, says going up against France was no easy task.

“Through the Croatian crowd they were saying ‘we’re the underdog, we’re the underdog,’ but if you watched the game today we did not look like the underdog,” she says. “It looked like
France was the underdog and they just had better luck with shots on net.”

She adds her team performed well throughout the tournament.

“I felt they won even before they started. This is the best they’ve ever done. They’re a great team, great courage and they played well. All the way through this whole tournament I felt they were playing well, they were out playing a lot of teams.”

Peric says the goal now is for Croatia to dust themselves off and come back better next time.

“We were celebrating in 98, we were part of all the celebrations that were happening in Vancouver in 98 and we wanted it year after year. They were a good team…they are a good team. We want to keep going, they’ve got to get first. We got third, we got second, now we want first.”