The Parkhead pals were on opposing sides in the last 16 clash with Maeda scoring for Japan only to suffer the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out knock-out following the 1-1 draw at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
Right-back Juranovic, who played the full 120 minutes alongside fellow countryman and Rangers rival Borna Barisic, was seen making a beeline for Maeda shortly after full-time, before offering him a few words of comfort and planting a kiss on his forehead
“Daizen is my friend and I congratulated him because he scored a goal in the World Cup and that is every player’s dream," Juranovic told Sportsmail afterwards.
“But I also felt sad for him because he was crying. Football is about sportsmanship and I gave him a little kiss.
“He is a good friend of mine and he had such a good World Cup with Japan. I feel sad for him tonight, but happy for Croatia.
“We made history tonight and now I have something I can say to my sons in the future that I did something beautiful.”
Croatia now face Brazil in the quarter-finals on Friday with Juranovic looking to continue his record of having started every match of the tournament thus far for Zlatko Dalić’s side.
Barisic, meanwhile, started for the first time against Japan after being an unused sub throughout the group section, taking the place of the ill Borna Sosa at left-back.