Dejan Lovren faces what is surely a must win game against Mexico if Croatia are to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Lovren and his Croatian teammates have given themselves the chance to progress in the tournament after a 4-0 hammering of Cameroon.
Both sides knew the loser of the game would be eliminated, as had already happened to World Cup holders Spain earlier in the evening, and it was Croatia who empathically bounced back from their defeat at the hands of hosts Brazil in the opening game to grab the victory.
It was a very one sided affair, with Saints’ most expensive ever defender Lovren, who again played the full 90 minutes, have a much easier evening, which was no doubt welcome after he conceded the controversial penalty that helped kick start Brazil’s 3-1 win in the opening fixture of the tournament.
Croatia took the lead after just 11 minutes through Ivica Olic, and any hope Cameroon had of getting something out of the game ended as Alex Song was sent off before half time for a crazy attempt to elbow Mario Mandzukic in the back.
The second half saw Croatia totally dominate and add another three goals, with Ivan Perisic bagging one and Mandzukic a brace.
Lovren, who has submitted a transfer request to Saints, now faces a vital last Group A game.
Croatia will surely need to beat Mexico when the teams meet on Monday night in order to progress at the expense of their opponents, who sit on four points alongside Brazil with Lovren’s men one point back.
A draw could technically be enough, but that would rely on Brazil losing to Cameroon, which looks hugely unlikely given the African side’s form thus far.