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2022 FIFA World Cup: Croatia win third place on 2-1 win over Morocco

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 17: Croatia players celebrate after the team's victory during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 3rd Place match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2022. 11:13 am CST.

Photo Credit: FIFA

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Croatia, led by captain Luka Modric, won third place with a 2-1 win over Morocco in front of 44,137 fans at the Khalifa International Stadium in Ar-Rayyan in Qatar.

Three goals were scored in the first half with both teams playing an open game, but action got tight in the second with both defense lines cutting the opposition’s attack.

Youssef En Nesyri could have levelled in the last minute of injury time for Morocco, but his header sailed over the crossbar.

Mislav Orsic scored a spectacular floater from the left wing in the 42nd minute to secure the bronze medals for Croatia. The ball passed over goalkeeper Yassine Bounou ricocheting off the right goalpost into the net.

The third-place game had the fastest start at the World Cup with two goals scored in the first nine minutes.

Josko Gvardiol, considered as one of the best defenders of the tournament despite the dance Messi made around him to set up Argentina’s last goal in the quarterfinals, redeemed himself by scoring the opener off a diving header for Croatia in the 7th minute.

But Morocco reacted well to the Croatian goal, levelling just two minutes later in the 9th minute with a header from Achraf Dari to tie the match 1-1.

Coincidentally, both goalscorers sported number 20 on their jerseys.

As in 1998, Croatia finish in third place in Qatar. Coupled with the subchampionship in Russia 2018, they have confirmed that they are one of the top teams in the world.

For Morocco, this fourth-place finish is their best performance in a World Cup. In fact, it’s the best performance by an African country in the World Cup. Their best finish before as 11th place in 1986 when they reached the Round of 16.

 

 

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