Both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina made history in a positive sense in their respective UEFA Nations League matches on Thursday night.
The runners-up of FIFA World Cup 2018 secured their first victory in the new competition and their first competitive win since the semifinal of that global tournament of this past summer, by defeating Spain 3-2 in a highly entertaining match in Zagreb.
They now face England on Sunday in an all-or-nothing showdown at Wembley, the team they beat in said World Cup semifinal in July.
As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, they got the final point they needed on Thursday to win their League B group and thus gain promotion to League A. They accomplished this with a largely uneventful scoreless draw away to Austria. That will pit their strong defense against two of the best European sides in the next edition of the Nations League.
For Croatia, staying in League A for next time is the minimum they can accomplish. They can do so with any draw, other than a scoreless one. But a victory would even send the Vatreni into the Nations League semifinals next summer. They are currently equal on points with England and two points behind Spain.
That is a good situation, considering that the Croats started play in the admittedly difficult three-team group with a disastrous 6-0 defeat away to Spain, before an uninspiring 0-0 draw vs. England.
Another scoreless tie on Sunday would make the two teams even on points and head-to-head, thus making the superior English goal difference the deciding factor. A scoring draw would give Croatia second place and relegate England to League B on head-to head away goals.
If there is a winner on Sunday, they would surpass Spain into first place, Spain would be second and the respective loser, the relegated third.