12 Octubre, 2017
Now he's done again against Wales and that's too often for it to be luck or coincidence.
The Croats were one of the stories at France 98 where they finished third in their first appearance at a World Cup finals.
He was true to his word. From the opening few minutes of that game he was barking orders at his teammates and throwing himself into challenges. It's just what they do. Well, it was 22 June last year on a humid night in Lille.
Duffy, Doyle, Judge, Meyler and Quinn were all called to the set that day to audition for a role in Ireland's summer blockbuster - O̶c̶e̶a̶n̶'̶s̶ O'Neill's 11 - but fast forward 18 months and their respective fates could not be any more different.
In assessing the quartet, Irish fans would probably favour a meeting with Denmark or Switzerland.
Yet on Monday McClean will be back in his day-to-day role as Irish republican, non-poppy-wearing bogeyman.
At the ground after the game, I bumped into a former GAA clubmate and a fellow alumni at Beaumont Boys' National School. Meyler captained Ireland to a historic victory in Cardiff. Twenty-four hours earlier, the GAA club he once represented with distinction reached their first Cork senior hurling championship final in 14 years.
That cannot be overestimated.
I wouldn't rule it out with these lads, no matter who they draw.
The last competitive meeting between the sides was at Euro 2012.
John Toshack thinks it is the right time for Chris Coleman to leave the Wales job. Pozanan witnessed an emphatic 3-1 win for Croatia in what was a tournament to forget for the Irish.
David Meyler led from the front. "We've got one massive step to go".
But sometimes, like last night, it stares you straight in the face.
And the stats prove it, Ireland are now winning games.
Goalscorer James McClean celebrates Ireland's World Cup Group D win over Wales in Cardiff on Monday.
"We come alive on the big occasions, we always have".
"I look at the Euros and the result against Italy sticks out, and you take confidence from performances like that".
"We play for each other, there's no individuals on this team".
While the crunch tie in the Cardiff City Stadium was last chance saloon for Ireland and Wales, their may be a 'back door' in future. Meyler shunned calls for Pardew to be sacked for the bizarre incident, instead selecting him as his FUT team's manager after a fan vote.