At the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 in the third-place match thanks to a beautiful goal by Mislav Orsic near the conclusion of the first half.
After a shaky start without crucial defenders Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, and Noussair Mazraoui, Morocco took the lead when Josko Gvardiol finished off a well-worked set piece. However, Morocco’s Achraf Dari, the team’s central defender, was left unguarded and responded swiftly.
In the absence of pressure, both teams kept up their attacking, creating a thrilling show. Let’s dive into WorldCup22’s recap of the thrilling Third Place Play-Off at the world’s biggest football stage.
The Rundown: Croatia vs Morocco
After the Morocco goalkeeper watched his team give up possession on the edge of his area, Orsic lofted a wonderful shot over Bono and in off the opposite side for the finest moment of the first half. After two outstanding campaigns in Qatar, the second half deteriorated into an attritional slugfest as both teams left nothing on the field.
Attempting to play past Croatia’s shrewd press repeatedly and unsuccessfully, Morocco messed up early on. Finally, a well-executed set piece undid them, with Gvardiol scoring to erase the pain of losing to Lionel Messi in the semifinals. If you’ve seen our World Cup 2022 free livestream, the assist came from Ivan Perisic, who flicked the ball back across the goal.
Almost immediately, Croatia gave the ball away when Luka Modric only partially blocked a wide free-kick, allowing Dari to strike the looping ball beyond Dominik Livakovic. Modric directed proceedings with his usual deftness, but Morocco nevertheless posed a threat on the counter thanks to the efforts of players like Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, and Sofiane Boufal.
An exciting waiting game ensued before Orsic finally came up with the cream. The Atlas Lions gave the ball away once more on the outskirts of their own zone, but Marko Livaja’s pass to the winger for Dinamo Zagreb left him with a mountain to climb.
Luka Modric: An end of his international career
Is there a link between Nani, Samir Nasri, Ashley Young, Scott Parker, and Jack Wilshere? Prior to Luka Modric’s arrival at Tottenham, all of these players were selected to start in the middle of the field for the Premier League’s team of the year.
Not very timely, but stunning considering the 10-year career the Croat has put with each other since departing White Hart Lane, a career that has positioned him as the contemporary game’s sole true No. 2 midfielder behind only Zinedine Zidane.
His efforts for Croatia, which earned him the Golden Ball in 2018, will be remembered even longer than his significant contribution to 5 Champions League victories.
Although he hasn’t been at his best for the club or nation in Qatar, he still appears to be more than capable of playing a pivotal role for his country at the European Championships in 19 months, should he choose to continue playing at the age of 37.
However, this is undoubtedly his last World Cup appearance, and that alone is a significant achievement for Croatia’s best player.
Player of the game: Ivan Perisic
Throughout the tournament, he hasn’t been a good fit for Croatia’s forward position, but today, he shined in a more defensive role. From the left wing, he made crucial plays, penetrating and linking plays and was instrumental in setting up his team’s first goal thanks to his aerial prowess.
Croatia v Morocco final score
Amrabat was filling in at center back at that point after injuries to Dari and Jawad El-Jamiq, but Morocco didn’t give up until the final whistle blew, and in the sixth minute of stoppage time, a leaping Youssef En-Nesyri nearly forced an extra half an hour when his header sailed over the top of the net.
Both sides scored in the opening 10 minutes of play for the first time at the 2022 World Cup. Across the last two World Cups, Croatia has played 14 total matches, winning 12, drawing 2, and losing 2 (to France in the 2018 final and to Argentina in the 2018 semi-final).And there we have it! We have finally crowned our third placer of the World Cup and what comes next is perhaps the most anticipated kickoff in the entire 2022! Expect to witness an epic conclusion on December 18. Make your way to Solarbet, where you can claim your free World Cup bets today, and don’t forget to check out our free livestream, too!