FIFA World Cup 2022: Luka Modric's Croatia win third-place playoff match, beat Morocco 2-1

FIFA World Cup 2022: Luka Modric's Croatia win third-place playoff match, beat Morocco 2-1

Croatia had finished runners-up in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, December 17, 2022, 10:20 PM IST
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Josko Gvardiol | Twitter

Strikes from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic gave Croatia a 2-1 win over Morocco in their FIFA World Cup third-place playoff match at the Al Rayyan Stadium on Saturday.

Croatia took the lead in the seventh minute, courtesy a superb header from Josko Gvardiol.

Josko Gvardiol heads Croatia in the lead

Josko Gvardiol heads Croatia in the lead |

The first African team to reach the World Cup semis made things equal in the ninth minute itself, as Achraf Dari headed past Livakovic from close range after a free-kick by Ziyech, headed high in the air by Croatia's Lovro Majer found him. In nine minutes, the scoreline read 1-1.

Luka Modric almost handed Croatia the lead in the 24th minute, but the goalkeeper Bounou parried the ball away before recovering to prevent Marko Livaja from rebounding in.

Morocco also made a chance in the 29th minute. Achraf Hakimi's cross evaded the head of Youssef En-Nesyri and it was the second missed opportunity in the last five minutes to score.

In the 37th minute, Ziyech's corner was flicked on at the front post by Youssef, but to no avail as his header flashed wide past the goal.

A 42nd-minute strike from Mislav Orsic put Croatia back in the lead. At half-time, the scoreline read 2-1 in favour of Croatia.

In the second half, Morocco tried to score the equaliser, but the well-organised Croatian defence held on to the lead to clinch the victory.

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