Croatia VS Morocco / FIFA World Cup 2022 / Match Details
It’s time for Croatia VS Morocco World Cup 2022 3rd Place Play-Off. Luka Modrić’s dream of winning the World Cup ended after losing 0 – 3 to Argentina in the 1st Semi-Final. Morocco, who made history in the World Cup this time, lost 0 – 2 against France. Morocco became the 1st country in Africa to play in the Semi-Finals. Hoalid Regragui’s (known as Walid Regragu) team has a dream run in the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Moroccan coach does not want to consider the last match in Qatar unimportant. He said – “If we had played in the Final, it would have been nice. But now we have to play 1 more match. It’s very much important to finish 3rd than to finish 4th“.
Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalić also gives great importance to this match. He said, “This is a big Final for us. It’s a big match & the fight for medals. In this World Cup, surprises, fairy tales & history – all in Morocco’s name. A 3rd place in the World Cup will also be a big achievement for Morocco. In this tournament, before the Semi-Finals, none of the opposing players could send the ball into the Moroccan net. They conceded 1 goal in the previous 5 matches. That goal against Canada in the group stage was a suicide goal.
Importance of the 3rd Place Play-Off for both the teams
This match is very important for Croatia. This might be the last match for Luka Modrić. Croatia was the Runners-Up in the last World Cup in 2018. Therefore, Croatia’s goal is to win this match against Morocco & end the tournament with their heads held high. Croatia finished 3rd in the FIFA World Cup 1998. The Croats beat the Netherlands 2 -1 in the 3rd Place Play-Off match in 1998. Morocco & Croatia will face each other for the 2nd time in FIFA World Cup 2022. Their 1st match ended in a goalless draw in the Group Stage. Croatia & Morocco has met only once before this World Cup. The Croats won the 1996 King Hassan International Cup Semi-Final 7 – 6 in a Tiebreaker after a 2 – 2 draw in extra time.
Croatia VS Morocco World Cup 2022 3rd Place Play-Off Match begins
Croatia kicks things off, playing left to right while donning their customary White & Red checkered uniform. Morocco is wearing their Red & Green uniform.
Yassine Bounou commits a mistake
The Moroccan goalkeeper almost scores after kicking the ball across his goal line. But all it produces is a corner for Croatia.
GOAAAAAAL – Croatia 1 – 0 ahead
7 minutes into the game now. Joško Gvardiol gives Croatia the much-needed lead with a header. Ivan Perišić follows a well-executed Free-Kick routine by heading the ball back to him.
GOAAAAAAL – Achraf Dari scores – Morocco got the much-needed equalizer
9 minutes into the game now. Dari evens the score with a superb header of his own. The defender scores from close range after Morocco’s free kick is flicked on by Luka Modrić from the right. Unreal.
Morocco playing well today
Morocco is playing very aggressively as they demonstrated against France. They’re making some intelligent passes in the Croatian Half but they’ve not yet found a way to the 2nd goal.
It’s 1 – 1 for both the teams
22 minutes into the game now. Both teams have 1 goal on the scoreboard. The numbers hardly distinguish 1 team from the other. Both teams have about 50 % of the ball possession in this match. But Croatia has a 2-to-1 advantage in shots on goal.
The match has slowed down a bit
The game has more or less settled into the expected pattern after the thrilling 1st 10 minutes. Morocco is content to stay deep & Croatia is beginning to control possession.
Youssef En-Nesyriis unable to reach the Achraf Hakimi Mouh’s Cross
Morocco missed a golden opportunity to take a lead. Youssef En-Nesyri ran a bit too far and Hakimi’s cross went behind him. Hakimi & Hakim Ziyech played a nice 1 – 2 up to the right. Hakimi raises a low cross. Youssef En-Nesyri narrowly misses. If he was in the right place it would have been a sure goal.
GOAAAAAAL – Croatia 2 – 1 Morocco
Mislav Oršić puts his side back in the lead with a beautiful shot. Croats made it 2 – 1 before the break with Oršić’s goal.
2 minutes of Extra Time
Perhaps it’s time for another goal.
Croatia VS Morocco World Cup 2022 3rd Place Play-Off Match / Half-Time
The 1st 45 minutes of the match have been significantly more thrilling than many had anticipated. Oršić scored a stunning goal to put his team back in the lead. Morocco also had chances to score as they continue to demonstrate their superior offensive & defensive capabilities.
The 2nd Half of the match begins
Morocco begins the 2nd Half by moving from left to right. Morocco’s 1st change. Abdelhamid Sabiri is replaced by Ilias Emilian Chair.
The Moroccans are sloppy at the back
Lovro Majer crosses from a great position. But Morocco fails once more clear their lines. Bounou appears to have the ball in his hands but he spills it out for another Croatia corner.
Morocco goes for a change
Azzedine Ounahi replaces Bilal El Khannous.
Croatia goes for a change
Nikola Vlašić replaces Andrej Kramarić. Kramarić is in tears when he exits the field.
Morocco goes for a Double Change
Achraf Dari & Sofiane Boufal are replaced by Badr Benoun & Anass Zaroury.
Croatia goes for a Double Change
Mario Pašalić & Bruno Petković replaces Lovro Majer & Marko Livaja.
Croatia goes for a change again
Selim Amallah replaces the injured Jawad El Yaniq.
Azzedine Ounahi sees the Yellow Card
Azzedine Ounahi receives the 1st Yellow Card of the game for his objections to the referee’s decision to call a foul.
Nikola Vlašić missed a chance
Nikola Vlašić strikes it well. But it ultimately exceeds the bar by a distance of several feet.
Great save by Dominik Livaković
Youssef En-Nesyri attempts a close-range shot but Livaković is once again in the ideal spot. Hakimi now goes down in search of a penalty. But it was outside the box. Replays of that Joško Gvardiol penalty claim indicate that Sofyan Amrabat may have gotten away with it. Surprisingly, Abdulrahman Ibrahim Al-Jassim (referee) wasn’t prompted by VAR to visit the monitor & change his mind.
Selim Amallah sees the Yellow Card
He’s upset with the referee. It’s not clear whether the Yellow Card is for the subsequent disagreements or if the Yellow Card was for the stray arm.
Mateo Kovačić missed a chance
After a late run into the box, he simply drags it wide with his left foot. That was a great opportunity to end the game.
6 minutes of Extra Time
Morocco still has time to get back into this game.
Croatia goes for another change
Kristijan Jakić replaces Oršić.
Croatia VS Morocco World Cup 2022 3rd Place Play-Off Match / Full Time
Even though there weren’t any more goals in the 2nd Half, it was still interesting to watch as both teams became more feisty as the game went on. Morocco searched for a leveler & Croatia displayed their class at this level & had superior scoring chances. Croatia won & is 3rd again in the FIFA World Cup 2022. The regret of not being able to reach the Final will remain. However, Croatia did win the 3rd Place Play Off. They beat Morocco 2 – 1 to take 3rd place. Croatia also finished 3rd in the FIFA World Cup 1998. Croatia was the Runner Up in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
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