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Croatia 2-1 Morocco: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction & more

Luka Modrić and company banked their second third-place finish in their young history at the World Cup thanks to goals from Joško Gvardiol and Mislav Oršić on either side of Achraf Dari’s early equalizer

Croatia’s young footballing legacy continues to be built upon after the 2018 finalist secured a 2-1 win over 2022 darlings Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium this evening. To reach tonight’s clash, both sides defied pre-tournament odds in spectacular fashion only for Morocco to be bested by France in the semi-final, whilst Croatia fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina.

Croatia took six minutes to open the scoring, floating the ball into the box from a free-kick for Ivan Perišić to put across goal, with Joško Gvardiol’s diving header gliding past Bono. However, Morocco took less than two minutes to respond. Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick was badly cleared by Luka Modrić, with the ball landing straight to Achraf Dari who headed in.

The two outfits then played out a fairly end-to-end clash for the remainder of the first 45, but Croatia was able to find a second shortly before the break. Morocco lost the ball on the edge of the box, the ball was then played to Oršić who curled in a superb strike to make it 2-1.

The second half was far tamer than the opening forty-five minutes but proceedings went up a few decibels in the last fifteen minutes when Croatia felt they should have been awarded a penalty after Gvardiol was brought down by Sofyan Amrabat before Morocco crafted one of their best chances of the match immediately in the aftermath of the no-call.

Walid Regragui’s men tried to turn the screw in the final moments of normal time and well into the six minutes of added time but Zlatko Dalić’s outfit did well to resist all potential inroads toward Dominik Livaković’s goal, but it all nearly paid off with 20-seconds remaining when Youssef En-Nesyri was able to try to head home a late equalizer only for his effort to graze over the bar.

When it was all said and done, Croatia had secured their second third-place finish on the world’s biggest stage in support of reaching the final four years ago, while Morocco could leave Qatar with heads held high after creating history at the World Cup as standard bearers for African football.

Morocco player ratings

  • GK: Bono – 6.5
  • RB: Archraf Hakimi – 6.5
  • CB: Achraf Dari – 7
  • CB: Jawad El Yamiq – 6
  • LB: Yahya Attiat-Allah – 6
  • CDM: Sofyan Amrabat – 6.5
  • CM: Abdelhamid Sabiri – 6
  • CM: Bilal El Khannous – 6
  • RW: Hakim Ziyech – 7.5
  • LW: Sofiane Boufal – 6.5
  • ST: Youssef En Nesyri – 6.5
  • Sub: Ilias Chair – 6
  • Sub: Azzedine Ounahi – 6
  • Sub: Anass Zaroury – 6
  • Sub: Badr Benoun – 6
  • Sub: Selim Amallah – 6.5

Croatia player ratings

  • GK: Dominik Livaković – 6.5
  • RB: Josip Stanišić – 7
  • CB: Josip Šutalo – 6.5
  • CB: Joško Gvardiol – 7.5
  • LB: Ivan Perišić – 7.5
  • CM: Luka Modrić – 7.5
  • CM: Mateo Kovačić – 7.5
  • CAM: Andrej Kramarić – 6
  • RW: Lovro Majer – 6.5
  • LW: Mislav Oršić – 7.5
  • ST: Marko Livaja – 7
  • Sub: Nikola Vlašić – 6
  • Sub: Mario Pašalić – 6
  • Sub: Bruno Petković – 6.5
  • Sub: Kristijan Jakić – N/A

Fan reaction

Expert analysis


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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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