Luka Modric scored a crucial equaliser in Croatia's 2-2 draw with Ukraine on Saturday to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
It was a game Slaven Bilic's side could not afford to lose as it would have seen their opponents go level on points with them in Group Six's second place.
As it is, Luka's 68th minute deflected effort keeps Croatia in the top two, although seven points behind leaders England.
Jermain Defoe was an 81st minute substitute for Fabio Capello's men, who won 4-0 in Kazakhstan, while Vedran Corluka also put in a 90-minute shift for Croatia.
Elsewhere in Europe, Chris Gunter and a young Wales side triumphed in a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan in Baku, while Robbie Keane and the Republic of Ireland stayed five points clear of opponents Bulgaria in second place in Group 8 with a 1-1 draw in Sofia.
Wilson Palacios made a return to action, but was on the losing side as Honduras slipped out of the top three in the CONCACAF zone with a 2-1 defeat against USA in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Heurelho Gomes was an unused substitute as Brazil moved a step closer to World Cup qualification with a 4-0 victory over Uruguay.
Didier Zokora played 90 minutes as the Ivory Coast continued their push for World Cup qualification with a 2-1 victory in Guinea.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Cameroon, meanwhile, were held to a 0-0 home draw by Morocco, which leaves both sides still off the pace in their qualifcation group.