Croatia consoles itself by finishing third in the World Cup

As it did in 1998, the year of its international consecration, Croatia will leave Qatar, climbing to the bottom of the drawer.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
17 December 2022 Saturday 11:33
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Croatia consoles itself by finishing third in the World Cup

As it did in 1998, the year of its international consecration, Croatia will leave Qatar, climbing to the bottom of the drawer. A third place that he celebrated in style, thus honoring the best tournament in the world, after a disputed consolation final against Morocco, whose defeat, which did not fit in the best way, will not prevent him from leaving the desert with the band of great revelation. It was also the World Cup farewell to Luka Modric, not as fine as usual, but who allowed himself the luxury of playing the 90 minutes and ended up hugging his coach, Dalic.

The Khalifa had a nice farewell to the World Cup, with a duel with little play but with its dose of tension and emotion. This time both technicians were allowed to make some rotations and provide minutes to previously unpublished footballers. Of course, on the Moroccan side there were no tactical inventions by Regragui, who had to learn the lesson after the setback suffered against France, and chose to use his usual scheme.

The afternoon blossomed with a game that was more open than the one that both showed in the group stage and which ended goalless. As soon as it started, Bono made hearts race with a pass parallel to the goal line that miraculously did not end up in the net.

The scoring would open immediately and thanks to an aesthetically and tactically precious action, born on the board of Dalic. Majer kicked a free-kick from the front after a threat from Modric, Perisic placed the ball in the heart of the area and the mighty Gvardiol connected with one of those shots to see repeated that Bono's squad lined up. The public, a vast Moroccan majority, filled the stands and was going to have their prize in the form of goals. Without time to score the Croatian goal, the African tie would come. The play was also born from a free kick that Ziyech took. This time, Majer could not clear well and the ball ended up in the small area so that the central Dari, one of the new ones, raised the tie and went crazy after scoring his first international goal.

But the goal did not spur Morocco too much and Croatia began to impose its law, taking over the game. Bono deflected a good shot from Modric in two stages. Ziyech tried to rescue his team but the Maghrebi midfield did not work and it was the Croats who were going to find the prize. A loss by El Khannouss, terrible all afternoon, led to a fine and placed shot by Orsic that passed Bono from above and settled into the net after touching the post. Or, better summed up, a great goal.

But all the action that had been in the first half disappeared after the break. The game fell asleep, as if it were siesta time, and the minutes were consumed without remedy between the injuries to Dari, Al Yamiq and Kramaric, exhausted. The first shot, and the only one, between the sticks did not come until half an hour, in an isolated play in which Livakovic confirmed his state of grace by denying En-Nesyri an equalizer. Despite all this, the game had long since escaped from the Qatari Al Jassim, a terrible judge on a peaceful afternoon, the Moroccan side too nervous.

Kovacic on one side, and En-Nesyri, on the other, lowered the curtain on the duel without being able to increase the score. The tradition was fulfilled in Modric's World Cup farewell, there have never been penalties in a match for third place.

2 - Croacia: Livakovic; Stanisic, Sutalo, Gvardiol, Perisic, Majer (Pasalic, m.66), Kovacic, Modric, Orsic (Jakic, m.95 ), Kramaric (Vlasic, m.61) y Livaja (Petkovic, m.66).

1 - Marruecos: Bono, Achraf Hakimi, Dari (Benoun, m.64), El Yamiq (Amallah, m.66), Attiat-Allah, Amrabat, Ziyech, Sabiri (Chair, m.46), El Khannouss (Ounahi, m.56), Boufal (Zaroury, m.64) and En Nesyri.

Goals: 1-0, W. 7: Gvardiol. 1-1, M.9: From. 2-1, M. 42: Orsic.

Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT). He admonished Ounahi (m.69) and Amallah (m.84).

Incidents: Match for third place played at the Khalifa International stadium before 44,137 spectators.

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