Jubilant Croatian fans honked their car horns and let off fireworks after their soccer team came from behind to beat England 2-1 in extra-time on Wednesday to clinch a place in the World Cup final against France.
Mario Mandzukic put Croatia ahead after scoring in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, giving the Balkan nation its first ever place in the finals in history.
"We had hoped [for this] and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals cannot be compared to anything," said Ivan Kecerin, 41.
The country of around 4 million people came to a standstill as Croatians watched the game on screens in squares and cafes. In Zagreb, the capital, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain.
Loud cheers rang out after each goal, fans waved the red, white and blue national flag, and after the final whistle Croatian TV showed wild celebrations in towns and cities.
When Ivan Perisic's equaliser hit the back of the net primal roars of triumph rang from the cafe terraces and through the open windows. The sound was eclipsed only by the joy that greeted Mandzukic's extra-time winner and the impromptu fireworks celebration in the wake of the final whistle.
In Moscow, Croatia fans said they were taken aback by their side's win.
"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday," said Sinisa Pavlek as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile on his face.
Asked if Croatia could beat France in the final on Sunday, his girlfriend Marina said: "Of course. We beat England."