Morocco’s stunning run to the semi-finals of the 2022 Qatar World Cup may have come to an end but there is still plenty to fight for against Croatia
Two teams with the intent to win the bronze medal at the 2022 Qatar World Cup lock horns on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Croatia and Morocco faced each other in Group F earlier in the tournament, ending in a 0-0 draw. Croatia had just 5 attempts in the fixture but will be hoping to give Captain Luka Modric a perfect farewell. The 37-year-old midfield maestro has been instrumental for Croatia over the last 15 years, appearing at the European Championships of 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020, and appearing at World Cups in 2006, 2014, 2018, and 2022.
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Morocco will be banking on Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech, a standout performer in the squad’s attack. Cutting in on his favored left foot, Ziyech could cause trouble for Croatia’s standout young left back Josko Gvardiol, just as Messi did in their 3-0 loss to Argentina in the semi-final.
Croatia and Morocco have always been seen as underdogs in the tournament but have produced excellence and grit in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Croatia, a country of over just 4 million people, made it to the final in the 2018 Qatar World Cup, losing to defending champions France.
Early withdrawal from the semi-final fixture of injured trio Noussair Mazraoui, Roman Saiss, and Nayef Aguerd, but head coach Walid Regragui will be hoping to have them fit for the Saturday fixture.
Croatia: Livakovic; Stanisic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Jakic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic
Morocco: Bono; Hakimi, El-Yamiq, Dari, Attiyat-Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Morocco need only to improve on the final step but Croatia would want to bow out in style, for their legendary captain.
Croatia (3)-(2) Morocco