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Croatia edge Morocco to clinch World Cup bronze medal

December 18, 2022 at 9:15 am

Players of Morocco pose for a team photo prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 3rd Place match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Fareed Kotb/Anadolu Agency]

Morocco’s dream run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup ended in defeat as Croatia held on for a 2-1 win in the third-place playoff on Saturday, reports Anadolu Agency.

A frantic start at the Khalifa International Stadium saw Croatia take the lead in just the 7th minute through a diving header from defender Josko Gvardiol that capped off a cleverly worked free-kick routine.

It took Morocco all of two minutes to level matters with a headed goal of their own from defender Achraf Dari.

Mislav Orsic put Croatia ahead minutes before the break, curling in a majestic strike from the left side of the box.

Both sides had several attempts in the second period, but Orsic’s stunner proved to be the game’s winning goal.

This was Croatia’s second third-place finish at the World Cup, repeating their feat from 1998, and follows a remarkable 2018 campaign that saw them finish as runners-up to France.

OPINION: Morocco won a bigger prize than the World Cup trophy