Mario Mandzukic hit a brace as Croatia thumped 10-man Cameroon 4-0 to dump them out of the competition after Alex Song saw red for violent conduct.
The Bayern Munich star headed home a corner and tapped in a rebound after Ivan Perisic had put the Croats two up with a superb solo goal just after the break.
The demolition followed a moment of madness on 40 minutes with Cameroon trailing to Ivica Olic’s early far-post finish.
Song lashed out at Mandzukic in an innocuous off-the-ball incident in midfield and was rightly given his marching orders.
From that moment on Cameroon were up against it and could have shipped further goals late on with Mandzukic, Eduardo and Ivan Rakitic all going close.
The indomitable Lions were missing the leadership of Samuel Eto’o and lacked a clinical presence in the penalty area but almost snared a consolation in the dying seconds when Pierre Webo hit the crossbar with a header.
Cameroon’s frustration was all too evident when full-back Benoit Assou Ekotto and team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo had to be separated after butting heads in the closing stages. The Tottenham owned defender, who spent last season on loan with QPR, stalked down the tunnel at full-time, despite efforts by Eto’o to calm him down.
The victory means Croatia keep their hopes of reaching the last 16 alive ahead of another winner takes all showdown with Mexico in their final group match on Monday.