"And I also played a part in the goals from (Pedrag) Mijatovic and (Dejan) Stankovic: 2-2, we qualified, Croatia were knocked out."
Mihajlovic and his team is likely to encounter a similarly vociferous atmosphere at the Maksimir Stadium on Friday. No away supporters will attend either of the World Cup qualifying matches between the two teams.
The Maksimir Stadium has its own bloody history. It was the scene of an infamous encounter between Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb and Serbian team Red Star Belgrade in 1990 which saw a riot break out and a number people stabbed and wounded.
Friday's game will serve as a barometer for the mood of fans, with those who remember the conflict and those too young to have witnessed the fighting being brought together.
"I've been to Zagreb and Belgrade and both cities, both countries, view this as something much bigger than football," James Montague, author of When Friday Comes: Football, War and Revolution in the Middle East, told CNN.
"In the past the game has really been the canary in the mine in terms of the political dynamics on the ground.
"It is a little different now. The older generations, of course, remember the horrors and this is an extension of that in some respects.
"But younger people are different. Few of the players, especially in Serbia, have much experience of life before 1990. For them this is a game.
"It is the people around it that have long memories and remember what was a particularly vicious civil war. Every year the hatred gets a little less."
Both Stimac and Mihajlovic called for calm ahead of the contest and will be expected to set a dignified tone on Friday, but the two coaches did not always see eye-to-eye during their playing careers.
"Stimac and Mihajlovic have a long dislike of each other, stemming from the 1991 Yugoslav Cup Final between Hajduk Split and Red Star Belgrade," explained Montague.
"It took place just as war was breaking out. They both got sent off bad mouthing each other. They have both said ridiculously nationalistic things in the past.
"But the two have buried a 20-year feud by meeting and agreeing to lead by a positive example. It's up to everyone there on Friday night to follow suit."