Inevitably, that meant there was a lot of space on the flanks in front of the back five, explaining the high volume of crosses after half-time (with one leading directly to the equaliser).
"My passion for Croatia started when I was 5 years old in the 1998 World Cup, I was watching Croatia vs France semifinal and my whole family was anxious with the Brazilian team who were playing the Netherlands, it was the first football game I saw and I was amazed by that team of the chess uniform, Croatia lost that game but I decided on that day that I would follow the Croatian team!", Francisco says.
In early June, a mini-World Cup was organised for children attending football schools in Belgrade.
Novak Djokovic is Serbia´s best-known sportsman and an idol in his country, but when the 12-time Grand Slam victor voiced support for the Croatia World Cup team, he was condemned by Vladimir Djukanovic, a lawmaker from the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. "Aren´t you ashamed Novak?" One of them would rather be born in Croatia.
Kane tops the scorers' charts with six goals, two clear of Romelu Lukaku going into their teams' second meeting at the tournament, and three from France's Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, who will compete in the final.
"I supported Russian Federation, that is my right". Even more so now.
"Congratulations with all my heart, bravo!", Miodrag, a resident of Nis in southern Serbia told the website of Serbian state TV on Wednesday after the semi-final win over England.
"We've always been stuck in the shadows of that team", he said, "but I hope with this win we've finally come out of it. Those friendlies were a huge help so that now here we are about to play the final".
Croatia are united behind manager Zlatko Dalic at Russian Federation 2018.
One comment stood out from the rest and it did not come from a Croatian but a Brazilian.
"Politics aside, hats off to you, neighbours!" Around 6,000 Croats live in Montenegro. They've got a talented team, filled with players from some of the biggest clubs in the world, like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus.
He saw it as part of a "gradual warming of relations" between Croats, Bosnians and Serbs.