| Croatia 2 - Marocco 1 is a result in Qatar which enabled Croatia winning its second bronze medal (in 1998 in France and in 2022), besides silver medal won in 2018 (in the Russian Federation). Continuity of excellent results of Croatian team are due not only to talent, but also to perserverance and hard work, under the baton of Zlatko Dalić, and under the baton of Ćiro Blažević in France. The result is all the more amazing when one sees some truly top quality representations being left behind Croatia: Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Japan, Marocco, Italy, Belgium, etc. (altogether 211 countries). |
Croatia 2 - Marocco 1 is a result in Qatar which enabled Croatia winning its second bronze medal (previously in 1998 in France and in 2022), besides its silver medal won in 2018 (in the Russian Federation). Continuity of excellent results of Croatian team are due not only to talent, but also to perserverence and hard work, under the baton of Zlatko Dalić, and previously under the baton of Ćiro Blažević (1998 in France).
The result is all the more amazing when one sees some truly top quality representations being left behind Croatia: Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Portugal, The Netherlands, Japan, Marocco, Italy, Belgium, USA, Sweden, Denmark, etc. (altogether 211 countries)!
The most pleasant surprises of the tournament are Japan and Marocco, representing two continents: Asia and Africa.
Croatia beat Morocco 2-1 in the World Cup third-place playoff on Saturday to leave Qatar on a high after again surpassing expectations following their run to the final in 2018. Mislav Oršić's late first-half strike was enough to settle the contest after two early goals inside the first nine minutes set the tone for a pulsating encounter, Achraf Dari cancelling out Joško Gvardiol's opener for Croatia.A bronze medal may have served as nothing more than consolation after both sides endured disappointment in the semi-finals, but Croatia and Morocco looked eager to make amends after losing to Argentina and France respectively.
Mislav Oršić scored a very beautiful goal for Croatia.
Note his number 18 on his jersey, where number 8 is stylized
according to the exotic Croatian Glagolitic Script.
This is bronze with a golden glow. We won a tough game, - said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić, who also led the nation of just 4 million people to their runners-up finish in Russia four years ago. "This is a medal for the Croatian people. It's really great that we won two medals in two tournaments, big congratulations to my players."
There were signs of nerves from Morocco early on with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou nearly scything a clearance into his own goal in just the third minute. Moroccan fans have turned up in massive numbers to support their team in Qatar and Saturday was no different as they jeered the Croatian players whenever they had possession, their whistles echoing inside the packed Khalifa International Stadium. That did not deter Croatia, however, who started the game on the front foot and took the lead in the seventh minute through a cleverly worked set-piece.
A cross floated into the box found Ivan Perisic who expertly headed the ball into the mix where the masked Gvardiol bravely dived in for the header to silence the Moroccan contingent, albeit briefly. Two minutes later, Morocco responded at the other end with a set piece of their own when a cross came off Lovro Majer's head and looped into the box where an unmarked Dari beat the keeper with a header. Emboldened by the equaliser, Morocco began to find chinks in the Croatian defence, with their movement and passing helping to create several chances. But the African side, who made history as the first on their continent to reach a World Cup semi-final, lacked the killer instinct in front of goal. Croatia duly punished them in the 42nd minute when an interception in the final third found Oršić, whose curling shot arced beautifully from a tight angle past the outstretched arm of Yassine Bounou before going in off the post.