Buoyed by the cacophonic "Viking Thunder Clap" from the crowd, Iceland poured forward in search of the goal which would see them through into the knockout stages but it was Croatia who would laugh last, as Ivan Perisic stole in to break Icelandic hearts as the game moved into stoppage time.
Fielding a side filled with reserves after already being assured of a spot in the round of 16, Croatia started to take control of the match in the second half.
On 25 minutes a trademark long throw from Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson was headed dangerously across the goalmouth by the industrious Magnusson.
Bjarnason went closer when Lovre Kalinic flapped at a corner but somehow recovered to block his shot as the pressure mounted but Croatia held out.
With Five minuets remaining in the half, Iceland had another go at Kalinic's goal as Alfred Finnbogason's effort from distance sailed inches wide of the upright.
The match was evenly poised in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but chances were few and far between for both nations.
Iceland faced a huge task as Nigeria nearly simultaneously equalised against Argentina, but they reacted swiftly.
The Iceland defender Sverrir Ingason almost scored twice just moments later, heading just over and then again off the crossbar.
However, Lovren conceded a penalty soon after when he was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area, with the spot kick subsequently dispatched by Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Sigurdsson had ballooned a penalty over the bar against Nigeria, but this time dispatched his shot into the roof of the net with Kalinic diving the wrong way.
Here's how to watch Iceland vs. Croatia online.
However, Ivan Perisic got the victor for Croatia in the last minute with a superb left-footed strike at the near post to give the Vatreni a third straight victory.
World Cup debutants Iceland proved they can compete against the top teams and will depart Russian Federation with their heads held high even if they failed to win a single game, Hallgrimsson said after the match.
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