Football

Croatia beat Morocco to finish third in Qatar World Cup

Croatia beat Morocco

At the Khalifa International Stadium, Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 thanks to goals from Gvardiol and Orsic after the Moroccans had tied the score with Dari.

With a 2-1 victory over Morocco, Croatia secured third place in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.

The 20-year-old Joko Gvardiol became Croatia’s earliest-ever goal scorer in a national jersey with a magnificent header in the seventh minute.

The game on Saturday appeared to be a goal-fest for the ages until Achraf Dari equalized with a header of his own two minutes later.

However, after ten fast-paced minutes of play, the action at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium calmed down as both nations sought to cap their World Cup campaigns on a positive note.

The runners-up from last year, Croatia, quickly gained control of the ball while Morocco contently sat deep and contained them.

Mislav Orsic’s winner

Mislav Orsic’s powerful curling shot that clipped the inside of the far post and bounced into the opposing side netting in the 42nd minute gave Croatia the victory over Morocco.

A European team placed third for the eleventh time in a row at the World Cup in Qatar 2022 thanks to an absolutely flawless shot.

We still aren’t able to quantify what happened today, but it was a great game. We won’t fully understand the significance of this victory until a few days have passed, Orsic said following the game.

“I’d like to dedicate it to my family and all the Croatian fans,” he said, “because it was the most significant game of my career.”

Regragui disappointed

Despite being “a little disappointed,” Morocco’s coach Walid Regragui stated that his team “did everything” despite suffering a second straight loss.

Our players became quite exhausted. We will get a lot of knowledge from this World Cup, and we are aware that we must return even stronger,” he stated. Croatia beat Morocco

Perisic assist

Just three weeks ago, these two teams drew 0-0 in their previous encounter during the group stage. With nothing left to lose, both teams gave it their all in this game, which was not much like their tense previous encounter.

In the first few seconds of the game, Bounou came perilously close to putting the ball in his own net during an exciting opening period. Ivan Perisic’s backwards nod of Lovro Majer’s clip into the box to a diving Gvardiol, who planted his header into the corner, gave Croatia the lead after a well-practiced free kick.

Hakim Ziyech’s free kick looped up off Majer’s head, allowing Dari to head past Dominik Livakovic in the Croatian goal as Morocco struck back.

Bilal El Khannouss makes his debut

As Marko Livaja closed in, Andrej Kramaric headed directly at Bounou, who did well to scoop the ball to safety.

Before halftime, Croatia regained the lead after Bilal El Khannouss, a debutant for Morocco at the age of 18, lost possession of the ball deep in his own half. Orsic curled a brilliant shot via the post from the corner of the box.

Soon after the restart, Orsic again came close, but his goal-bound shot missed the post by a whisker after brushing off Jawad El Yamiq.

Croatia penalty appeal

When Gvardiol fell inside the area after it appeared that Sofyan Amrabat had caught his foot, Croatia was incensed—but there was no VAR review.

Moments later, Youssef En Nesyri managed to go by Livakovic, who spread himself out beautifully to block the striker from close range. This may have been the turning point in the game.

When given the chance to end the game, Mateo Kovacic missed wide. En Nesyri’s last-second header was just wide, and Morocco had a late penalty appeal denied, but the Atlas Lions were unable to win to end their historic run.

At 13:00 GMT on Sunday, the championship match between France and Argentina will take place at Lusail Stadium.

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