Tin Jedvaj's extraordinary double saw Croatia blow their Nations League pool wide open with a 3-2 win against Spain on Thursday, setting up a make-or-break clash with England.
The World Cup finalists endured a miserable start to their Group 4 campaign in League A - thrashed by Spain in the reverse fixture and drawing with England - but they now head to Wembley in contention for a Finals place after an incredible finish in Zagreb.
A tame first half was followed by a frantic second as Croatia were twice pegged back by a rampant Spain side, Dani Ceballos levelling after Andrej Kramaric's opener, before a Sergio Ramos penalty cancelled out Jedvaj's first international goal.
But the Croatia full-back ensured his side would not be denied, lashing in a rebound in the dying seconds to keep the hosts in the running.
Spain, meanwhile, face a nervous wait after completing their group campaign, now requiring a draw between the two teams in London to reach next year's knockout stage.
David de Gea was drawn into a smart early stop, helping Ivan Perisic's deceptive low effort onto his right-hand post, but further first-half chances were sparse before Lovre Kalinic tipped away an Isco drive.
The first goal was a gift when it finally did arrive. Ramos and Sergi Roberto traded passes in the corner before Perisic intercepted an impudent flick from the latter to send Kramaric through on goal, the forward keeping his cool to finish.
Yet Spain suddenly awoke from their slumber and a flowing attacking move down the left concluded with Isco squaring for Real Madrid team-mate Ceballos to slide into the net.
Kalinic lost the ball at Iago Aspas' feet for a seemingly simple Spanish second, but the forward prodded against the crossbar and Croatia were able to go up the other end and restore their lead, Jedvaj nodding Luka Modric's teasing cross in at close range.
De Gea denied Ante Rebic on the break at one end before a frantic scramble saw Sime Vrsaljko block Alvaro Morata's on-target header at the other, although the right-back's handball allowed Ramos to convert from 12 yards out.
However, there was still time for another twist as, with Croatia throwing everyone forward, De Gea could only parry a low shot as far as Jedvaj in a crowded penalty area, allowing the 22-year-old to settle a see-saw contest.
What does it mean? Spain blow commanding position
Spain looked home and dry after impressive wins against England and Croatia, but subsequent defeats to both sides have left the 2010 world champions at the mercy of their group rivals. England will want revenge against Croatia for the semi-final defeat in Russia, while Zlatko Dalic's men will believe they can produce an unlikely comeback and qualify.
An unlikely Croatia hero
The versatile Jedvaj can play anywhere across the back line to good effect, but few would have expected him to make an impact at the other end with two goals. More attacking team-mates squandered chances either side of two assured finishes that made a hero of the young full-back.
Spain so soft at the back
Spain were torn apart by England last time out and, while Croatia were initially less proficient on the counter, there remain issues at the back. The visitors carelessly handed Croatia the lead, with Ramos shaky once again, and Croatia looked a real threat every time they came forward.
Spain face Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday in a friendly, but they must first watch England host Croatia earlier in the day. The winners go through, the losers are relegated. Spain, however, will be hoping for a draw. It is still ever so tight.
|Del Potro into Delray Beach quarters, Kyrgios exits|
|Sarri: Chelsea´s season better than Arsenal´s|
|Padres confirm Machado´s 10-year, $300m deal|
|Williamson diagnosed with grade one knee sprain|
|Vidic: Solskjaer a better fit than big-name managers for United|
|Giroud issues EFL Cup warning after Chelsea´s Europa League win|
|McIlroy leads in Mexico, Woods shoots 71|
|Romero edges into lead in Puerto Rico|
|City out to make history against Chelsea - Silva|
|We were sweet enemies - Mourinho salutes old rival Wenger|
|Inter improvement not down to Icardi absence - Spalletti|
|This Week in US Sports: Manny Machado finds a home, Williamson gets hurt|
|Sarri rubbishes Roma rumour|
|Halep takes positives despite Dubai defeat|
|Reigning champion Van Uytvanck progresses in Budapest|
|Brough stars for Wakefield on milestone outing|
|Serbia progress in the balance with one game to go|
|DeMarcus Cousins blasts college basketball after Zion Williamson injury|
|UEFA explains ´technical issue´ behind Schalke-City VAR delays|
|Coric, Verdasco humbled in Open 13|
|Inter 4 Rapid Vienna 0 (5-0 agg): Nerazzurri cruise into Europa League last 16|
|Chelsea 3 Malmo 0 (5-1 agg): Sarri´s side stroll into last 16|
|Halep out, Kvitova dominant in Dubai|
|Marotta ´very optimistic´ Godin will join Inter|
|Emery praises Arsenal´s game management after European progress|
|Valencia 1 Celtic 0 (3-0 agg): Toljan sent off as Bhoys crash out|
|Arsenal 3 BATE 0 (3-1 agg): Emery´s men ease through|
|Woods to skip Honda Classic, play Arnold Palmer Invitational|
|Sarri recalls Hudson-Odoi for Malmo match|
|Silverwood in line for England job|
|WATCH: Norwegian goalkeeper scores stunning free-kick|
|Bencic ends Halep´s Dubai dreams|
|Playing conditions confirmed for The Hundred, reveals ECB|
|Manchester City fan suffered ´traumatic brain injury´ in alleged assault|
|Afghanistan too strong for Ireland in T20 opener|
|History-chasing Sri Lanka edge Proteas on day one|
|Tottenham an ´exciting and brilliant´ team, says Kanoute|
|Klopp fined £45,000 referee comments|
|Mourinho to analyse Clasico for beIN SPORTS|
|Ronaldo has won three Champions Leagues, not five – Atletico president Cerezo hits back at Juventus|
|Greatest Wales side ever? Not in my book, says Gatland|
|FA charge Millwall over racist chanting|
|Saiss signs new Wolves deal|
|Klopp impressed by Solskjaer´s ´brilliant job´ at United|
|De Jong excited to join ´greatest ever´ Messi at Barca|
|Gattuso ´not building anything´ at AC Milan|
|Manchester City fan in critical condition after alleged assault following Schalke game|
|Kovac wants repeat of Bayern´s defensive efforts|
|Semenya sets record straight over government funding for IAAF case|
|Tottenham´s Kane to be assessed ahead of Burnley clash|
|McIlroy to skip Irish Open|
|England rest Stokes and Buttler for Windies T20s|
|Lambert given two-game touchline ban after East Anglian derby fracas|
|Gatland puts faith in Anscombe to face England|
|PSG terminate Diarra contract|
|Nantes grant Cardiff extension over Sala payment, Warnock confirms|
|Horne replaces Russell for injury-hit Scotland in Paris|
|Eriksen´s agent ignoring transfer speculation|
|Moon and Nowell to start for England against Wales|
|PSG announce new shirt sponsor|
|Hearn expects Joshua-Usyk fight in 2020|
|Van Dijk wants to be a ´legend of Liverpool´|
|India lose Pandya for Australia T20s and ODIs|
|KNVB postpones Ajax game to boost Real Madrid preparations|
|Tigers land Rabbitohs flyer Jennings|
|Man United have new flow under Solskjaer - Wijnaldum|
|Manchester United v Liverpool: Herrera the unsung hero of resurgence|
|Manchester United v Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold gets chance to show growth at Old Trafford|
|Duke players, Coach K react to Zion Williamson’s knee injury|
|Barack Obama wishes Zion Williamson a ´speedy recovery´|