It was an audacious performance from the centre-back and a deserved victory for Francesco Totti as Italy beat Croatia 4-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

It took a great effort from Totti to earn his side a second consecutive win against the south-east European champions and it will be the first time the Giallorossi have won two successive games in the series.

They had a tough task against a Croatian team who have only managed three wins in the last three games and scored only three times in their last five games.

Totti was a constant threat throughout the game, showing a knack of keeping possession and cutting inside to provide goalscoring opportunities for his teammates.

It was a difficult night for the home side as they conceded three goals in the first 15 minutes but they recovered to equalise through the end of the first half.

Tutti made two important saves to deny a late strike from Radek Hamsik and a long range effort from Zdenek Zeman in the 33rd minute as the game entered the break.

Croatia opened the scoring through a spectacular move in the 25th minute when Totti forced a smart save from goalkeeper Gijs Vakoc, who had saved a penalty to deny Totti.

A header from Tomas Zagac found the back of the net for the visitors but it was Croatia’s most dangerous chance of the night.

Croatia equalised through a counter attack in the 32nd minute.

Tiberio was caught in no-man’s land with a long ball from Kukanović, who was brought down in the box.

Tietjens made an impressive stop to deny the Croatian, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Tackles were made as the second half progressed and the Croatians were looking to score again but they failed to find the net.

The win gives Italy the top spot in Group E and they face Argentina in the next round of qualifiers.