Croatia beat Morocco to complete third within the Qatar World Cup

Croatia have overwhelmed Morocco 2-1 to take third place on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

A chic header from Joško Gvardiol within the seventh minute made the 20-year-old Croatia’s youngest ever goalscorer within the nationwide staff.

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Two minutes later, Achraf Dari equalized with a header of his personal, and Saturday’s sport seemed set to be a goal-fest for the ages.

However the motion at Doha’s Khalifa Worldwide Stadium settled after a frantic opening 10 minutes into an entertaining, if much less frenetic, match-up as each groups seemed to finish their World Cup journey on a excessive.

Croatia, the 2018 runners-up, started to dominate possession, and Morocco have been content material to sit down deep and comprise.

Mislav Orsic’s winner

The winner got here within the forty second minute, when Mislav Orsic lobbed a curling ball over Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou with energy, clipping the within of the far put up to bounce into the alternative aspect netting.

An absolute peach of a shot which meant that Qatar 2022 was the eleventh World Cup in a row {that a} European staff completed third.

“It was a great match, we still can’t measure what happened today. Only after a few days we will realize how big this victory is,” Orsic stated after the match.

“It was the most important match of my career and I would like to dedicate it to my family and all Croatian fans.”

Regragui disenchanted

Morocco coach Walid Regragui stated he was “a bit disappointed” by a second successive defeat however that “they did everything”.

“Our players got very tired. We will learn a lot from this World Cup and we know we will have to come back even stronger,” he stated.

Perisic help

The final time these two sides met, within the group stage simply three weeks in the past, the outcome was a goalless draw. Now, with nothing left to lose, each groups put in a spirited efficiency for a match that was in contrast to their final nervous encounter.

In an action-packed opening interval, Bounou got here perilously near placing the ball into his personal internet within the opening seconds of the match. Croatia then surged ahead from a well-rehearsed free-kick, as Ivan Perisic headed Lovro Majer’s cross into the field again to a diving Guardiol, who positioned his header into the nook.

However Morocco hit again when Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick deflected off the top of Majer, permitting Dari to go previous Dominik Livakovic within the Croatian purpose.

Bilal El Khannouss makes his debut

Andrej Kramaric proceeded to go straight at Bounou, who did properly to scoop the ball to security as Marko Livaja closed in.

Orsic brilliantly curled in by way of the put up from the nook to place Croatia again on prime earlier than half-time after 18-year-old Morocco debutant Bilal El Khannouss misplaced the ball deep in his personal half.

Orsic once more went shut moments after the restart, his on-target effort brushing previous Jawad El Yamiq and whizzing narrowly previous the put up.

Croatia Legal Attraction

Croatia have been livid when Guardiol tumbled into the realm after his foot gave the impression to be caught by Sofyan Amrabat, however there was no VAR assessment.

It might have proved a match-deciding second when Youssef En Nesyri moments later discovered a well past Livakovic, who unfold fantastically to dam the striker from shut vary.

Mateo Kovacic went large with the possibility to place the sport past doubt. Morocco had a late penalty attraction turned down and En Nesyri headed simply over within the dying seconds, however the Atlas Lions couldn’t discover a strategy to finish their historic run with a win.

All eyes now flip to Sunday’s ultimate on the Lusail Stadium, the place holders France face Argentina at 13:00 GMT.


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