Today, Croatia-Morocco is fighting for victory at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar. Tension was also seen between the footballers of the two teams. Last year’s runners-up Croatia won the fierce battle with a 2-1 goal.
Croatia finished third in the World Cup for the second time 24 years after finishing third in their first World Cup in 1998. However, the record of the highest third place in the World Cup belongs to the four-time world champion Germany. Four times they finished third.
The country increased the lead in the 42nd minute of the game. Croats made it 2-1 before the break with Orsic’s goal. But in the 29th minute, Morocco squandered a great chance to score a goal. Otherwise, the game would have been equal at the end of the first half!
N-Nessiri ran a bit too far and Hakimi’s cross went behind him. Hakimi and Ziach played a lovely one-two up the right. Hakimi raises a low cross. But N-Nessiri narrowly misses. It would have been a sure goal if he was in the right place.
No one scored after the break. Just as Croatia did not create big chances, Morocco did not get the perfect opportunity to repay the goal. In the 74th minute, Guardiol was thrown into the D box, and the disciples of Zlatko Dalic strongly appealed for a penalty. However, the referee rejected the request. A minute later, Morocco went on the attack. Goalkeeper Livakovic saved Croatia from Naseri’s attack.
Croatia took the lead after 7 minutes. Ivan Perisic headed Luka Modric’s free-kick from just outside the D box. Guardiol gave the ball again. The ball heads into the Moroccan net at bullet speed. There was a shout of joy in the Croatian camp. Croatia couldn’t keep the lead for long, even if they went ahead. Morocco equalized two minutes later. Hakim Ziyesh’s free-kick goes over a Croat player in front of Ashraf Dari. He immediately hit the target in the head.
Then the shot on target took place in the 24th minute of the match. Modric took a shot from the edge of the D box. The ball goes under the feet of the Moroccan defense and goes straight to Bono. But the Moroccan goalkeeper couldn’t palm the ball away, it bounced off him and went in front of Ivan Perisic. Quickly catch the ball and save the team.
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Morocco had a chance in the 30th minute. But they could not use that opportunity. In the 37th minute, Jiesher’s attempt failed. Morocco could have gone ahead if the ball had touched his head gently in the shot taken from the corner kick. But Sufian Bofal did not reach the ball even after jumping. They conceded another goal in 42 minutes. At this time, Mislav Orcic found the net with a floated shot from the left edge of the D box.
It was also Morocco’s sixth World Cup. The second-round appearance in 1986 was the team’s best success so far. Reaching the last four of the World Cup is a great success for Morocco. However, Ashraf Hakimi’s fairytale run was stopped by France in the semi-finals. Morocco became the first country in Africa not to play in the World Cup final. Before the third-place match, Morocco coach Waleed Regragui said they were disappointed to lose in the semi-finals. But being third is more of an achievement than being fourth. But not the third; Morocco finished the dream journey in fourth place.