Croatia must have known their chances of reaching the knockout stages looked slim when they were drawn with England and France in their group.
But they can leave Portugal with their heads held high.
As it turned out, they picked up just one defeat - Wayne Rooney proving a stumbling block too far in that group game.
Before that, they nearly gave France a reminder of their premature World Cup exit as they raced to a 2-1 lead.
But a composed French side levelled proceedings to set up that showdown with England.
When it came down to it, Croatia were not a side littered with world-class names but Dado Prso was the man to impress me most, even when beating England looked beyond him and his side's reach.