And Mandzukic, who set up former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric for the equalise in normal time, made sure it was an extra enjoyable experience for his hometown people by laying out just short of £3,000 on beer for them to guzzle.
England, meanwhile, are looking to make the final for the second time, and first since winning the title in 1966.
Both of these countries have needed luck on their side to get to this point, with England needing penalties to get past Colombia, and Croatia prevailing twice in shootouts - against Denmark and Russian Federation.
"From the start of the second half we played much better, but unfortunately we couldn't finish the game".
Win and they will be one step closer to achieving the feats of their 1966 team - the only one from England that has tasted glory at world football's showpiece tournament. Majority sang Russian songs in the streets all night, waving Russian flags and sounding the horn.
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Fans who had been dancing in the streets after a heart-pounding shootout win over 2010 champions Spain in the last 16 last Sunday were gloomy but grateful.
Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov too paid tribute to his team after their World Cup quarterfinal exit.
"Yesterday and today I would have experienced the same feelings towards me, if I were in your place", said Fedor Smolov, sharing the blame for the quarter-final defeat in which he missed a penalty against Croatia.
The fans at home would have possibly not expected such a show from their players, who have quickly been embraced as national heroes. "He said that we should keep our eyes open and take the next steps". They play with great speed and aggression and are very unsafe from set pieces.
"So hopefully it will be a great game for the fans and hopefully it will be like more like Wembley in 2007". He said this support had been felt from the very first days of the tournament.
"They have been playing at an extremely high level for their clubs".