Andrej Kramarić came off the bench to score an 83rd minute penalty that denied France their first win of the Nations League.
World Champions France are still looking for their first win in League A Group 1 after they also slipped up against Denmark 1-2 last Friday.
Coach, Didier Deschamps made ten changes to his side, leaving only Aurélien Tchouaménihe from the team that lost to Denmark.
Adrien Rabiot’s cool finish put France on course for a victory but they were pegged back and must now win their next games to stand the chance of playing in next year’s final.
The fixture saw Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric wn his 150th cap for Croatia.
Denmark now top the group with six points after winning 2-1 in Austria in the other group game.
See results from other Nations League games played on Monday below:
Latvia 1 – 0 Liechtenstein
Belarus 0 – 0 Azerbaijan
Slovakia 0 – 1 Kazakhstan
Andorra 0 – 0 Moldova
Iceland 1 – 1 Albania