Doha, 17 December 2022 - Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium, in the third place playoff match to end the tournament with a bronze medal, and secure a second consecutive top three finish at the World Cup.
Morocco got off to a shaky start, with a harried back pass to Yacine Bono forcing the Moroccan goalkeeper to slice a pass across his goal and out for a corner kick.
Morocco struggled to get into the game in the opening five minutes, and Croatia capitalised. In the 6th minute, a clever free kick routine saw the ball lobbed into the box, for wing back Ivan Perisic to nod towards the penalty spot. The header was met by Gvardiol, who produced a brilliant diving header to give Croatia the lead.
Morocco responded immediately with a set piece goal of their own. A free kick from the right channel was deflected off the head of Luka Modric, and fell to Dari who headed in to level the scores with 9 minutes on the clock.
With three minutes left in the half, a period of consistent Croatian pressure outside the penalty area saw the ball rolled out to Orsic on the left channel. The Croatian left winger curled in a fantastic effort into Bono’s far corner to regain the lead for his team.
Morocco gave it their all in the second half, and had to great opportunities to level the scores. A lofted ball into the penalty area in the area found En-Nesyri unmarked at the far post, but the Moroccan strikers left footed effort was bravely saved by Livakovic.
In the dying seconds of the match, Attiat Allah lofted in a cross from the left wing, which landed at the head of En-Nesyri who headed inches over the bar.
Seconds later, the referee blew his final whistle, confirming Croatia as the third placed team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.