LOS ANGELES (CNS) - What organizers are billing as Los Angeles' biggest Croatian watch party for Sunday's World Cup final between Croatia and France will be held at St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church in Chinatown.
A viewing party of Fox's telecast of the 8 a.m. game from Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium will be held at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles. Breakfast will be provided by McDonald's. There will also be live entertainment and family-friendly activities, according to organizers. A viewing party will also be held at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood. The game will also be shown on a movie-size screen at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills and on a big screen at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Admission is free at both venues.
Viewing parties will be conducted by all of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Football Club's bar partners. The parties will include giveaways of tickets to LAFC games and raffles for team gear. The list of LAFC bar partners is available at https://www.lafc.com/bar-partners.Croatia became the second smallest nation to reach a World Cup final with its 2-1 overtime victory over England in a semifinal Wednesday. Only Uruguay, the 1930 and 1950 champion, had a smaller population, among World Cup finalists.
Croatia's population of 4.284 million according to its 2011 census is 42. 1 percent of Los Angeles County's 10.163 million, according to a 2017 U.S. Census Bureau estimate.
Croatia won all three of its knockout phase games either on penalty kicks or in overtime. It allowed the first goal and trailed in all three of its knockout phase games. The three overtime games means it has played the equivalent of one more game than France. Croatia also has had one less day of rest since its semifinal than France. France defeated Belgium, 1-0, in its semifinal Tuesday. Croatia advanced to the knockout stage in two of the five World Cups it has played in since first becoming eligible for the 1998 tournament. Its previous best finish was third in 1998.
France will be playing in a World Cup final for the third time. It defeated Brazil, 3-0, in the 1998 final when it was the host nation, and lost to Italy, 5-3, in a penalty kick shootout in 2006 after overtime ended in a 1-1 tie. France is seventh in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer's international governing body. Croatia is ranked 20th.
Croatia is known as Vatreni, meaning The Blazers. Its roster consists of five players who play for club teams in Italy, four each in Germany and Spain, two in Croatia and one each in Austria, Belgium, England, France, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
France, known as Les Bleus, The Blues, has a roster consisting of nine players who play in France, six in Spain, five in England, two in Germany and one in Italy.Six Croatian players have club teammates who play for France.
Each of the past three World Cup finals has been decided in overtime or in a penalty kick shootout.