He also overcame missing a penalty in extra-time against Denmark, stepping up bravely minutes later to convert in a shoot-out. But have we been too quick to dismiss Luka Modric and co? - they wonder at Sky News, bringing six things you need to know about Croatia.
Croatia's star midfielder Luka Modric said "we will see who will be tired" was the team ethos going into the July 11 semifinal, feeling Croatia had been under-estimated by the English.
"We were undermanned in midfield", said Dalic.
"I think we are underdogs from Day 1 and it's good for us", Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said.
Unpredictability is the operative word for this year's cup, as no one predicted that only European teams would be left on the field; that Brazil would have been knocked out of the semi-finals; and that Russian Federation had gone as far as it did.
In 1998, Croatia, which had emerged from a bitter independence war only three years earlier, made its debut at a World Cup finals. "We didn't play well in the first half, we didn't control the game as we wanted. They found a way to win, and then against the hosts as well".
Pick your starting line-up for the semi-final below using our team selector, and do not forget to share your selection on social media with your friends. "We have nerves of steel", said Kramaric. "I am very happy for my players, we showed character and the right mentality".
World Cup of surprises concludes with a final of contrasts.
On Sunday in the 2018 World Cup final, it will be France vs. Croatia for the biggest prize in the game.
France's own supremely talented young squad will now aim to make amends for defeat on home soil to Portugal two years ago in Sunday's showpiece. The European side hadn't managed to taste success in seven matches in the lead-up to the quadrennial tournament and lost a few key players, including influential striker Alexandr Kokorin, to injury.
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