MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Soccer fans are glued to their screens in bars, parks and living rooms across Canada, watching Croatia take on France in the World Cup final.
It’s the first ever final for the Croatians, while France is there for the third time and went into the match as the betting favourite.
In Montreal, fans wrapped in French flags erupted into cheers and sang the country’s national anthem as they celebrated their team’s first goal outside bar l’Barouf.
A two-storey-tall French flag covered the front of the building in the Plateau-Mont Royal, which is home to many of the city’s approximately 57,000 French nationals.
Fans waved flags, honked horns and cheered their team with calls of “Allez les Bleus” as police tried to keep the elated crowd from spilling onto the street.
The mood was equally jubilant in Mississauga, Ont., where fans packed the Croatian Parish Park.
Some set off sparklers and red flares as their team scored its first goal, about half an hour into the match.
Canada, of course, did not have a team in this year’s tournament — or in any World Cup other than 1986, when it finished in last place and did not score a goal.
But soccer-mad Canadians have been following along with every goal, save and embellished foul of the tournament.
The Canadian Press