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World Cup Round-Up (Third-Place Play-Off) – Croatia Claim Third Place as Morocco Bow Out




Croatia secured third place at the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Morocco on Saturday. All the goals came in the first half at Khalifa International Stadium, with Mislav Orsic netting the winner.

Josko Gvardiol gave the Croatians the lead on seven minutes, before Achraf Dari equalised two minutes later. With three minutes of the first half remaining, Orsic scored an excellent goal to seal the deal.

Croatia have now claimed three top-three finishes in six World Cup appearances since becoming a FIFA member. After securing third place in 1998, they finished as runners-up in 2018 – highlighting their staying power.

As for the Moroccans, they registered the best World Cup finish by an African and Arab nation in World Cup history. The Atlas Lions go home with their heads held high after reaching the semi-finals in unprecedented circumstances.

Let’s relive all the key moments from Saturday’s third-place play-off.

Croatia’s Know-How Shines Through as Morocco Finish Fourth

Morocco goalkeeper Bono has been one of the standout players at this year’s World Cup, but he almost dished up a howler in the early stages at Khalifa International Stadium.

The Sevilla shot-stopper came extremely close to putting the ball into his own net with a misplaced pass, only for the ball to slide past the post and go behind for a Croatia corner.

On seven minutes, however, the Croatians took the lead. Gvardiol netted a brilliant diving header from a free-kick, cementing his status as one of the best performers in Qatar.

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But it didn’t take Morocco long to equalise. Two minutes after Gvardiol’s opener, another centre-back scored a header – with Dari levelling the game. Once again, the Atlas Lions showed the fighting spirit that got them to the semi-finals in Qatar.

However, the decisive goal came on 42 minutes. Orsic picked the ball up on the far edge of Morocco’s penalty area and curled it over Bono, striking the post on its way in.

Both sides had chances to score in the second half, while Gvardiol could have won a penalty for Croatia after being brought down in the box. Nevertheless, the Croatians held on to claim third place with a 2-1 victory.

The 2022 World Cup final takes place on Sunday, with Argentina and France facing off at Lusail Stadium. Can Lionel Messi fire Argentina to glory? Or will Kylian Mbappe and co. secure back-to-back triumphs?

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