The 2018 World Cup runners-up, who face Japan in the last 16, did well to blunt a Belgian attack bristling with talent and consign their European rivals to an early exit.
Head coach Zlatko Dalic congratulated his players on reaching the knockout phase and admitted his side had enjoyed good fortune.
Dalic said: "I certainly expected a difficult match against a great team. Belgium cannot play three matches in a row in a very bad manner and this was a decisive match.
"But Croatia were great, especially in the first hour. We had a clear penalty, but Var ruled against us.
"It is to be expected that a team such as Belgium would have certain chances and I must be honest and say that we were also lucky, they didn't take their chances in the end."
Croatia 2022 World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livakovic, Ivica Ivusic, Ivo Grbic
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barisic, Josip Juranovic, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanisic , Martin Erlic, Josip Sutalo
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakic, Luka Sucic
Forwards: Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Mislav Orsic, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja
Who is their best player?
In a team studded with international standouts, such as Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic of Inter Milan, and Tottenham's Ivan Perisic, Luka Modric remains the brightest in the firmament.
A master of midfield alchemy and Champions League titleholder with Real Madrid, Modric, 37, is his country's most capped player, with 152 international appearances.
He backed up his pre-tournament status with a man-of-the-match performance in Croatia's opening game against Morocco, though Telegraph readers' best performing player was team-mate Marko Livaja, who was rated 7.8 out of 10.
What are Croatia's fixtures?
Croatia will face Japan in the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar. The match will be played at Al Janoub Stadium on Monday, December 5 and will kick off at 3pm.
November 23: Morocco 0 Croatia 0
November 27: Croatia 4 Canada 1
December 1: Croatia 0 Belgium 0
What is Croatia's World Cup record?
Croatia have qualified for all but one of the World Cup tournaments held since their independence, in 2010, and their appearances are bookended by their standout finishes: third place at France 1998, which made them the highest-finishing debutants since Eusebio's Portugal in 1966, and runners-up in Russia 2018.
Modric was awarded the Golden Ball for best overall player of the tournament, with his performance in Russia contributing to his Ballon d'Or win later that year.
Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales
In what is sure to be Luka Modric's last World Cup, can Croatia top the group? See all the latest group winner odds
Croatia are currently a best price of 40/1 to win the World Cup.