Croatia in training after loss to Argentina in semi-final
Check out Croatia’s recovery training after losing 3-0 to Argentina in the World Cup semi-final in Qatar.
Croatia vs Morocco: Line-ups
Morocco to Make History
Dalic’s side remarkably reached the 2018 final and the semi-finals of the 2022 edition without winning a knockout game in normal time, and they are not complete novices in bronze medal matches, having beaten the Netherlands 2-1 in the 1998 third-placed playoff during their inaugural World Cup campaign.
For a side who have consistently proven their prowess in extra time periods and penalty shootouts, Croatia will not be relieved to hear that the third-placed playoff has never been decided on spot kicks, and the uninhibited Morocco fanbase will no doubt continue to bang their drums to the maximum for one last ride.
The Africans’ efforts were not helped by the early withdrawals of injured trio Noussair Mazraoui, Romain Saiss and Nayef Aguerd, but Morocco’s current crop will no doubt return to their homeland as national heroes and could yet be wearing the bronze medals around their necks on the flight back.
Regragui’s side had not conceded to an opposing player in Qatar before Hernandez breached their backline with only five minutes on the clock on Wednesday, but they could still become the first nation since Spain’s triumphant team of 2010 to keep as many as five clean sheets at a single World Cup.
Croatia and Morocco are renewing hostilities just a few weeks on from their goalless draw in Group F, where the Checkered Ones were restricted to just five attempts against Regragui’s backline, and a similarly steadfast defensive showing could set the Africans on their way to a groundbreaking World Cup honour.
A trident of injured defenders would not spell optimism for any side, but Morocco’s backline stand-ins have put in performances to be proud of and are now facing a Croatia XI who are not renowned for any sort of attacking mastery. Rearguards will likely come out on top in this bronze medal battle, but Regragui’s side need only improve their final ball to make their periods of pressure count, and we have belief in the Atlas Lions to do just that and end a magical World Cup journey with a podium finish.