Superb objectives from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic helped Croatia beat Morocco 2-1 to complete in third place for the second time at a World Cup.
The victory additionally sees Croatia captain Luka Modric finish what’s more likely to be his final World Cup with a bronze medal, though the 37-12 months-outdated has not referred to as time on his worldwide profession but after committing to subsequent summer time’s Nations League finals.
“About my future? I don’t know if I will be (playing) until the Euros in Germany,” he instructed beIN Sports when requested about Euro 2024.
Croatia: Livakovic (7); Stanisic (7), Sutalo (6), Gvardiol (8), Perisic (7); Modric (7), Kovacic (7); Majer (7), Kramaric (6), Orsic (7); Livaja (6).
Subs: Vlasic (6), Petkovic (6), Pasalic (6), Jakic (n/a).
Morocco: Bounou (6); Hakimi (7), El Yamiq (6), Dari (7), Attiyat Allah (6); El Khannous (6), Amrabat (6), Sabiri (5); Ziyech (7), En-Nesyri (6), Boufal (6).
Subs: Chair (6), Ounahi (6), Zaroury (6), Benoun (6), Amallah (6).
Man of the match: Josko Gvardiol
“We will see. I need to go step by step. I am enjoying the national team. I feel happy.
“I nonetheless suppose I can carry out on a excessive stage and I wish to proceed till a minimum of the Nations League.
“Then after, there will be more time to think about the Euros. Now it is go step by step and continue at least until Nations League and then we will see.”
Croatia’s win clinched their third high-three end on the World Cup after ending as runners-as much as France 4 years in the past, whereas defeat for Morocco noticed them miss out on the possibility to grow to be the primary African nation to select up a medal on the event.
Croatia took a seventh-minute lead via a shocking diving header from Gvardiol to cap off a wonderful event for the spectacular 20-12 months-outdated centre-again.
But Morocco responded instantly as Achraf Dari nodded dwelling from shut vary simply two minutes later.
Croatia restored their lead, although, within the forty second minute with an exquisite curling winner from Orsic as his first-time effort contained in the field bent previous Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and went in off the far put up.
Morocco got here near a late equaliser however Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic denied Youssef En-Nesyri to make sure they claimed their second World Cup bronze medal after reaching the feat in 1998.
How Modric and Croatia ended on a excessive in Qatar
Big moments within the sport…
- 7 min: Gvardiol’s diving header offers Croatia lead
- 9 min: Dari heads Morocco stage from shut vary
- 42 min: Orsic curls Croatia again in entrance
- 74 min: Gvardiol is denied a penalty after an Amrabat deal with
- 75 min: Livakovic denies En-Nesyri from shut vary
- 90+6 min: En-Nesyri outjumps Perisic to go over
If Modric, who was making his 162nd look for his nation, is about to name time on his worldwide profession then a possible new captain in Gvardiol has emerged in Qatar.
A properly-labored Croatia free-kick noticed Lovro Majer clip the ball into Ivan Perisic, who headed throughout aim for the diving Gvardiol to energy previous Bounou.
But the lead lasted only one minute and 49 seconds as Majer’s headed clearance from Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick fell into the trail of Dari who nodded dwelling from shut vary within the ninth minute.
Three minutes earlier than half-time Croatia restored their lead as Marko Livaja arrange Orsic, who bent a primary-time proper-footed effort previous Bounou.
Croatia appealed for a second-half penalty when Gvardiol was tackled by Sofyan Amrabat however Qatari official Abdulrahman Al Jassim refused to award one.
En-Nesyri got here shut twice to levelling within the dying minutes as he was first denied by Livakovic earlier than heading over in stoppage time as Croatia held on to make sure a European nation received the third-place play-off for an eleventh consecutive event.
Dalic: Modric is our large boss | ‘It’s a trophy for him’
Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic is hopeful Modric will play on till 2024 having praised his performances in Qatar.
“He’s our captain, he’s our big boss,” he mentioned.
“He played fantastic this tournament. He’s 37 years but he played like a 20/25 year old. He’s our leader. Everyone follows him.
“I’m very happy for Luka Modric, this trophy is for him. He did a fantastic job. Some people think this is the end but I think he will stay with Croatia for a long time.
“We did an excellent job tonight and all via the World Cup. For us bronze is a gold medal. We performed a troublesome event. Morocco did much like what we did in Russia.
“I am very proud and happy. Maybe nobody expected us to do this again. We are a small country but we have a big dream.”
Regragui: We had been drained | ‘Croatia deserved third place’
Morocco boss Walid Regragui mentioned: “We wanted to bring joy to our fans but we’re still happy, we’re among the four best teams in the world.
“We supplied everybody with an excellent present, we by no means gave up. Congratulations to Croatia, they deserve their third place. We are a younger workforce that’s nonetheless studying.
“Sure, I am a little disappointed by this second consecutive defeat, but we did everything that we could.
“Physically it was tough, our gamers acquired drained, it was very intense. We needed to make the followers extra proud than they already had been, that is it.
“I think we showed our strength, we showed that African football is prepared to face the top teams in the world with efficiency and playing at the highest level.
“We most likely will solely realise what we achieved in Qatar after 4 years, within the subsequent World Cup. The strain may also be better, there can be expectation round us. It’s pure.
“We made a great achievement but we want to do it again. It will not be easy but that’s the objective.
“Through expertise you get stronger and I hope we be taught and develop and construct in our youngsters in Africa a soccer DNA that lasts.
“We have now allowed children to dream, dream of being footballers and going to the World Cup. That is priceless. As for the impact in our country, we have set the bar high.
“I’m certain that in 15 years an African workforce will win the World Cup.”
Opta stats: Croatia proceed stable World Cup report
- Croatia have solely misplaced two of their 14 complete matches throughout the final two World Cup tournaments (W6 D6): versus France within the 2018 last (2-4) and Argentina on this 12 months’s semi-last (0-3).
- Morocco’s two defeats on the 2022 World Cup got here within the matches the place that they had their two highest possession figures of the event (61% v France and 49% v Croatia). Prior to those two matches, Morocco had averaged simply 31% possession and gone unbeaten in 5 video games (W3 D2).
- Croatia drew 0-0 with Morocco on MD1, earlier than beating them on this third place play-off match – it was simply the third occasion this century of a workforce going through an opponent twice in the identical World Cup event with out dropping both match, after Brazil in 2002 (v Turkey) and Belgium in 2018 (v England).
- This was the primary match of the 2022 World Cup to see each groups rating inside the primary 10 minutes of play. Indeed, there have been simply 112 seconds between Croatia opening the scoring and Achraf Dari equalising for Morocco.