Croatia Edge Past Morocco To Finish Third And Win The Bronze Medal In The 2022 World Cup.

 Croatia defeats Morocco 2-1 in the World Cup third-place playoff on Saturday evening to finish third and clinch the bronze medal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Coming into the encounter at the Khalifa International Stadium, Morocco, who have enjoyed their best-ever World Cup, were beaten 2-0 by reigning and two-time champions France in the semi-finals, while Croatia's quest for the trophy was ended by 3-0 defeat to Lionel Messi's Argentina in the final four.

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The 2018 finalist, Croatia's golden generation secured a top three finish for the second consecutive edition of the tournament. They also finished third in the 1998 World Cup, beating the Netherlands 2-1.

Despite finishing in fourth place, Morocco had a sensational outing in Qatar, putting up the best performance from an African country and Arab nation in the tournament's history.

Both Croatia and Morocco had initially faced each other in their opening Group F game in this tournament which ended in a goalless draw, and the rematch was a lot more wide open for both sides.

The Group F foes reunited for a bronze medal clash, and Croatia were able to beat Morocco 2-1 in a feisty and tightly-contested battle.

A sublime header after a well-designed set-piece play in the sixth minute from Joško Gvardiol made the 20-year-old Croatia’s youngest ever goalscorer in the national shirt.

Lovro Majer lobbed a free-kick to Ivan Perisic, who peeled away from his marker to head the ball to the middle of the box where Gvardiol was perfectly positioned to nod the ball into the net with a brilliant diving header.

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It only took just two minutes for the Atlas Lions to find the equaliser, also from a free-kick, as Croatia’s Majer tried to clear the ball but miscalculated his header and missed badly, setting up Morocco’s Achraf Dari, who was alone in the six-yard-box to send home a close-range header.

The third-place game which is usually thought to be boring, now looked like it might be a goalfest for the ages, as both teams attempted to end their World Cup journey on a high.

Croatia scored the winner in the 42nd minute, just before the break,l when Mislav Orsic netted a curling ball over the Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou with power be from inside the area, clipping the inside of the far post to rebound into the opposite side netting. 

Croatia held their lead through an absorbing yet goalless second half, the goal from Orsic, proved to be the difference between the two teams in the third-place playoff contest.

The nation of approximately four million people, Croatia have qualified for six World Cups and they've won a medal in three of them.

1998 - Bronze, 2002 - Group stage, 2006 - Group stage, 2014 - Group stage, 2018 - Silver and, 2022 - Bronze.

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