Croatia Beat Morocco to Finish Third at the 2022 Qatar World Cup

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2018 World Cup finalists Croatia beat history makers Morocco by regaining their lead right before halftime.

Morocco will have to remain content with their fourth-placed finish at the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a 2-1 loss to Croatia. The Atlas Lions have made history by going the farthest any African nation had gone in World Cup history.

The game began like a final with both teams scoring in the first ten minutes. Josko Gvardiol found the back of the net with a sublime header in the seventh minute becoming Croatia’s youngest goalscorer in the World Cup. A freekick from the training ground as Ivan Perisic nods Lovro Majer’s deft clip for Gvardiol to apply the finish. 1-0 Croatia!

2 minutes later Achraf Dari equalized for Morocco, the Atlas Lions were roaring and now this was shaping up to be the perfect World Cup fixture. Morocco from a setpiece, Hakim Ziyech behind the freekick.

Croatia dominated the first half while Morocco preferred to sit back and defend deep, soaking up the pressure, and hoping to catch the Europeans on the break.

Their persistence pays off just a minute to the break as Mislav Orsic lobs a perfect curling effort that brushes the inner near post and beyond the reach of an over-stretched Yassine Bounou in the Morocco goal. Morocco field a debutant- Bilal El Khannouss, who loses the ball deep in his half.

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Second Half

Moments after the restart, Croatia almost extend their lead from Orsic, the goalscorer, whose effort brushes Jawad El Yamiq going slightly wide.

The rest of the game was full of injury delays and constant protests against the referee after several decisions went against Morocco, or were not in their favor. Mateo Kovacic blew away the chance to put the game beyond doubt, Morocco’s late penalty appeal was turned down and En-Nesyri could have equalized late in added time.

Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco could have equalized in their World Cup fixture against Croatia in dying time (Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco could have equalized in their World Cup fixture against Croatia in dying time (Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

37-year-old Luka Modric captains the side to a third-place finish at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. More to follow on his decision here on Switch.

Captain Luka Modric and his teammates celebrate winning third place in the 2022 Qatar World Cup (Photo: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera)
Captain Luka Modric and his teammates celebrate winning third place in the 2022 Qatar World Cup (Photo: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera)

Read Also: FIFA President Announces Plans To Launch a 32-team Club World Cup in 2025

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