Two goals in as many minutes saw Croatia come from behind to see off the challenge of Georgia and take top spot in Euro 2012 qualifying Group F.
The home side had trailed to Jaba Kankava's goal for much of the contest and
hit the woodwork three times, but Mario Mandzukic and Nikola Kalinic eventually
found the target in a frantic second-half spell.
The win takes Croatia two points clear at the top of the pool, although they
will be overtaken by Greece tomorrow if their rivals beat Malta.
Georgia were 1-0 winners when the two teams met in the reverse fixture in March
and breached Croatia's defence again in Split after 17 minutes of play.
Alexander Iashvili pumped a cross into the area and Kankava was perfectly
placed to head the ball into the bottom right corner from close range.
That goal sparked the hosts to life and Nikica Jelavic had their first opening
within a minute with a strike which flew past the left post.
Luka Modric came even closer to an equaliser after 25 minutes when his
left-footed drive from 25 yards crashed onto the post.
Croatia continued to put the pressure on their opponents and Ivan Perisic was
wasteful in firing over on the half-hour mark.
Georgia goalkeeper George Loria was then called upon to deal with Mandzukic's
shot from distance in order to preserve the visitors' lead at the interval.
The start of the second half brought little respite for the Georgians, who were
relieved to see both Eduardo Da Silva and Modric miss the target with
Kalinic was then kept at bay by Loria, who punched the striker's curling shot
clear before Dario Srna hit the woodwork - his 18-yard effort coming back off
the post after 70 minutes.
Georgia were clinging onto their slender lead, but had luck on their side as
defender Srna once again clattered the post from distance four minutes later.
Croatia's pressure finally paid off after 76 minutes, though, when Tomislav
Dujmovic whipped in a cross which Mandzukic smashed into the bottom left corner
from six yards out.
The visitors had barely registered that goal when they found themselves
conceding again with Kalinic providing the finish to a cross into the box from
Srna had the chance to add a third for the hosts in the dying seconds but
directed a 25-yard free-kick wide of the right post.