Bernardo Silva had a chance to open the scoring for Portugal in the tenth minute after he was sent through on goal, but the Manchester City attacker fired wide.
Seven minutes later, Ivan Perisic grabbed the lead for Croatia in the, after the Vatreni won the ball higher up the pitch, which allowed the winger to smash home a loose ball.
Fernando Santos’ men were threatening to find the equaliser and they were eventually rewarded in the in 32nd minute, with Pepe heading home from close range.
Andre Silva had a chance to give Portugal the lead on the stroke of halftime with a free-kick from just outside the box but his effort sailed over as the first stanza ended 1-1.
There was no urgency in the opening exchanges of the second stanza as both sides were still looking to settle into a passing game.
However, Santos’ troops started to enjoy plenty of territory after the hour-mark although they were not doing anything meaningful with it.
Portugal found spaces in the midfield of Croatia with a quarter of an hour remaining and were looking the most likely to go into the lead.
The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo certainly proved evident as Selecao lacked a cutting edge upfront, with the Croatian defence enduring a quiet final 15 minutes.
Nevertheless, neither side could carve out another opening as the encounter all square.