World Cup: Croatia defeat Morocco 2-1 to finish third


Superb goals from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic helped Croatia defeat Morocco 2-1 to finish in third place for the second time at a World Cup.

Defeat for Morocco saw them miss out on the chance to become the first African nation to pick up a medal at a World Cup, while Croatia’s victory meant a European nation has now won the third-place play-off in the last 11 tournaments.

Croatia took a seventh-minute lead through a stunning diving header from Gvardiol to cap off a fine tournament for the impressive 20-year-old centre-back.

But Morocco responded immediately as Achraf Dari nodded home from close range just two minutes later.

Croatia restored their lead, though, in the 42nd minute with a wonderful curling winner from Orsic as his first-time effort inside the box bent past Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and went in off the far post.

Morocco came close to a late equaliser but Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic denied Youssef En-Nesyri to ensure they claimed their second World Cup bronze medal after achieving the feat in 1998.

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