In-form Croatia will be hot favourites against Denmark, who have looked lacklustre in the group stages, when the two sides clash in the Round of 16 of the World Cup on Sunday.
However, the lead would last just a few moments as Mario Mandzukic benefitted from some equally slack defending at the opposite end of the pitch to level the score, with the Juventus forward firing into the Danish net.
Denmark have relied upon the considerable creative talents of Christian Eriksen to provide their spark so far, and that's unlikely to change against Croatia.
The younger crop of Croatia players like Ante Rebic, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic have also rose to the occasion making them a threat.
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The following 116 minutes though largely failed to live up to the first four, fireworks giving way to a damp squib of an encounter as the game edged inexorably towards extra time and penalties.
The second half is away as Croatia have first use of the ball.
"Kasper did all he could to ensure we won the match, both in extra time and the penalty shootout", he said.
After 20 minutes, Mandzukic went down under a challenge in the area after a cross from the left, but the referee waved play on and a VAR check confirmed the decision.
Croatia go long to Mandzukic, who pulls back across the face of goal, however there's no one else waiting for the ball.
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"There has been a lot of comparison between those two teams", Inter winger Ivan Perisic said this week.
Croatia sail on to a quarterfinal date with Russian Federation by the Black Sea in Sochi. The cross, though, sails wide right of the post after Dejan Lovren's header.
Josip Pivaric (for Strinic 81) - 5 - Brought on for the tiring legs of Strinic and filled in at left-back comfortably. Mathias Jorgensen, 5. Jonas Knudsen, 6 Andreas Christensen, 8.
29' - Two great chances for Croatia (first a shot by Ivan Rakitic and then one by Ivan Perisic) are defended well by Denmark. In goal is Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel.
Subs: Lossl, Krohn-Dehli, Vestergaard, Kvist, Nicolai Jorgensen, Dolberg, Fischer, Larsen, Lerager, Schone, Sisto, Ronnow.
Saturday's World Cup round of 16 matches
Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli intends to fight to keep the job as long as he can dismissing any uncertainty about his future. Messi set up the latter two, first sending a shot on goal that Mercado deflected into the net in the 48th.
'We know they have very skilful players and are very flexible but you will see a different Denmark.