The Scotland players sat in their hotel and watched one of those losses on Friday night, four months after inflicting the other one.
Scotland's 1-0 win in Zagreb did not have too much in common with Belgium's 2-1 victory in the same city three nights ago - the Belgians were far more comfortable during their triumph - but the end result was the same: downbeat, dejected Croats licking their wounds. They were the top seeds and the group favourites when the qualifying campaign began 13 months ago but they have been utterly eclipsed by this vibrant, hugely-exciting Belgian team. The leaders are eight points clear and could even win the section by a double-figure margin.
The question now is how Croatia approach their final qualifying tie at Hampden tomorrow night? They are certain to finish second and definitely have a place in next month's play-offs, so a win makes no difference to them other than in terms of morale. Nevertheless, because any suspension incurred in the group stage would carry into the play-offs, their coach, Igor Stimac, has a decision to make on whether to select Luka Modric. The little Real Madrid playmaker collected a booking against Belgium and were he to be cautioned again in Glasgow he would miss the first leg of their play-off. Stimac naturally will be giving some consideration to leaving Modric out of the Scotland game to remove the possibility of him being absent for a far more significant fixture in November.
"I would rather he did play," said an impressively confident James McArthur when the possibility was put to him. "You want to play against all of their top players, don't you? We all want to play in the best leagues and play against the best players. When you look at Croatia they have a lot of good players.
"I know he didn't play the last time [Modric was injured in June] but look at the rest of their players who did. They have Champions League winners throughout their team. They have boys who are playing week in, week out for top, top clubs. Yes, Modric is a top player, but they have that throughout their squad." Might Croatia be deflated after Belgium's Friday victory confirmed that they could not win the group? "I'm not really sure. They are professional enough and they have got top pros in their side. I think they'll be coming here to win and trying to end their campaign on a bit of a high. Obviously they haven't qualified but they'll still want to win."
McArthur is not expected to start tomorrow night. Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew have emerged as a strong double-act at the base of the Scottish midfield, although that partnership could be broken in this final qualifier. James Morrison is available again after injury and the absence of Steven Whittaker, who is suspended, and Lee Wallace, who is a major doubt because of a knee injury, means Mulgrew may be moved to left-back. Motherwell's Steven Hammell was called up to the squad on Saturday to provide another option in that position.
Scotland have options across the midfield, of course, and it was Morrison and McArthur who started in front of the back four in Zagreb. "Now we want to obviously want to get two wins over them, which would be unbelievable against such a high-ranking team," McArthur went on. "It would put us back on the map as a team that other teams will come here and fear, as they used to."
Manager Gordon Strachan is a huge admirer of McArthur because of his enthusiasm and professionalism. The feeling is mutual. "He has done wonders for the nation," said the Wigan Athletic midfielder. "You look at where we were when he first came in to where we are now. We've beaten top sides, and we're playing well against the really big sides even when we're not getting results.
"I look around the dressing room and see winners. You look at them in training and everyone wants to win. It's not a case of 'okay, right, we're training today'. Everyone wants to go out there and be the best we can. We obviously want to finish this group on a high for the fans as well. You can tell from people's reaction that we are making progress. Rather than tip-toeing around things they are saying 'well done'. Everyone is in an upbeat confident mood.
"Hopefully we will get a nice draw for the next campaign when it eventually comes around [the Euro 2016 qualifying draw is on February 23]. And hopefully we can do what we've not done for a right few years and get to a finals."
It is customary to ask Scotland players what they remember, if anything, about the last time the country made it to a football tournament. In McArthur's case he watched the opening match of the France 98 World Cup in a cinema in Glasgow's Parkhead. He was 11 years old, and still at primary school.