Croatia’s players celebrate after winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup third place play-off football match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on December 17, 2022.
Mislav Orsic scored a spectacular goal in the 42nd minute to give Croatia the victory over Morocco. Josko Gvardiol put the Croatian side ahead with a beautiful header in the 7th minute of the match, with Morocco goalkeeper Bouno not having a chance of saving the ball.
Two minutes later, Achraf Dari pulled Morocco level with a header in the 9th minute. Orsic gave the Croatian side the lead in the first half to reduce the Moroccans’ chances of finishing third in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In the second half, Morocco’s manager Walid Regragui took Hakim Ziyech into the midfield, which gave Acraf Hakimi enough room to venture forward more frequently. Although a few minutes later Ziyech went back to the right wing.
Afterward, Gvardiol went down in the penalty box on the counter, and VAR was quick to disagree with the player, and the play went on.
Morocco put more pressure on the Croatia defenders, and Gvardiol was still on the floor, which left a big hole in the Croatia defense. Morocco En-Nesyri hit the ball nicely, but it was saved by Livakovic.
Morocco vs Croatia
After the additional extra six minutes to the 90th minute, the Croatian team sat back in an attempt to preserve the lead. Morocco last opportunity came when En-Nesyri header hit the net. That was Morocco’s best chance to get the equaliser and probably push the game into extra-time.
After the match, Hakimi was pulled back by his teammates after he confronted the referee, Abdulrahman Al-Jassim over alleged controversial decisions made by the referee during the game.
Morocco vs Croatia
The Morocco manager, Walid, came quickly to bring calmness and also challenged the official for his biases in the match.
On the other side, Croatia was seen celebrating as they took third place in the World Cup. The camera was all on Luka Modric as he played his last World Cup match for his country.
What Next For Morocco and Croatia
Morocco will play against Sudan on January 15, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier.
The Croatian side will be involved in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match against Wales on March 23, 2023, at 8:45 p.m.